DHL: Pharma is core business

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Pharma’s significance for Duetsche Post DHL Group was underlined by the company’s chief executive officer Frank Appel on Tuesday 16 June, at a media briedfing in Hamburg (Germany).

Appel says the pharma market makes up one quarter of DHL’s global freight forwarding revenues, but he was unable to reveal an exact figure. Appel also claims that DHL is growing in the pharma market at twice the average growth rate of its competitors, but again he could not give a precise amount. “It is a core activity and a very active market and there are good returns,” Appel explains.

The world’s changing demographics, growing gross domestic product and expanding consumer classes in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa are presenting opportunities for the integrator to grow its pharma revenues.

DHL says that research shows that spending on pharma is forecasted to reach around $1.3 trillion by 2018 and adds that the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2020, one third of all global health expenditure will be in emerging markets.

During an interview with Air Cargo Week (ACW), DHL’s president for the life sciences and healthcare (LSH) sector, Angelos Orfanos, says there is growth potential in numerous pharma markets across the globe. “The markets with good growth will be in Brazil, India, China, Mexico and other similar growing emerging economies,” he explains.

“DHL now are located at around 80 airports, and feel that we have the market well covered at the moment, and will get to 90 airports by the end of the this year, but more will follow,” Orfanos adds.

He says that in order to meet demand DHL now runs specialist pharma freighter routes from Brussels Airport to Cincinnati Airport and San Juan International Airport to Cincinnati Airport. The integrator revealed earlier this month that it was investing $108 million in its cargo terminal facilities at Cincinnati.

“We may well run more of these dedicated LSH routes in the future. We will look at the flow and se where the opportunities are to offer ramp to ramp temperature-controlled facilities,” Orfanos tells ACW.

He also explains to ACW that the feedback from its customers was all about costs and the need to make healthcare less expensive