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Carpooling for Cargo

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    The innovative new partnership – which is shortlisted for the Supply Chain Distinction Awards 2011 – will run in collaboration with TRI-VIZOR, a spin-off company from the University of Antwerp, and logistics service provider H.Essers.

    The system, powered by an advanced control tower which uses Microsoft cloud computing technology, allows UCB and Baxter to bundle pharmaceutical supply chains in Eastern Europe.

    Medicines must be stored and transported at a constant temperature so global biopharma companies like UCB require state-of-the-art logistics services. However, because other companies in our sector have similar needs, the scope for partnership is great.

    TRI-VIZOR’s intelligent technology will provide the information that allows the companies to identify overlap in their distribution needs, while H.Essers will provide operational know-how to help make the collaboration work.

    A good match
    Baxter, a global healthcare company with expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech, has its European distribution centre in Lessines, around 40km from Brussels. This made Baxter and UCB a good match, given that our European distribution centre is in Braine-L’Alleud, just 35km south of Brussels.

    TRI-VIZOR had previously detected significant bundling and synergy potential between the European transport networks for temperature sensitive products of both healthcare multinationals.

    This led the university spin-off firm to invite UCB and Baxter to forge a unique horizontal partnership for collaborative logistics.

    A more sustainable solution
    TRI-VIZOR will capture and synchronise the transport orders of both companies in real-time. This information will be used to make cargo transport on road and rail more efficient.

    Rather than two companies moving half-loads of product around Europe, the system will look for opportunities to ‘car pool’ and move full loads. Rail connections will be used where possible.

    All of this will make for a more sustainable and smooth supply chain with significant benefits for the environment.

    The system underwent a successful pilot test in Romania last month and will now be rolled out in other Eastern European destinations. The system is built in a way that allows its expansion to include collaboration with other pharmaceutical companies.

    This initiative is another example of how smart technology, innovation and partnership can combine to deliver efficiency and sustainability.
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