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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Pharma Shipping

Transporting pharmaceuticals by ocean is becoming more common than one may think. Looking at the past decade, the industry has seen many different approaches to shipments and many policy changes. Today, companies in this field are increasingly realising the need for a more dedicated focus on shipping. Traditionally, pharma cargo has been transported by air due to the high value of the commodity and better knowledge of pharma transport within that sector. However, a lot has changed in recent years, as ocean shipping has developed expertise and new technologies that adhere to the pharma shipper’s requirements, thus transforming ocean transportation into a viable alternative to air freight.

Unbroken Cold Chains


Pharma products can be transported in refrigerated containers (referred to as reefer containers in this article) from origin to destination, with transparency on the state of the cargo during the entire voyage. New technological developments already on the market allow temperature and atmospheric conditions inside the container to be monitored and maintained throughout the entire journey. As such, packing (stuffing) the container is done by the manufacturer at the origin and unloaded (unstuffed) by the distributor at the destination. This means the products receive no third-party exposure, ensuring a well-functioning and unbroken supply chain. Furthermore, costs are sufficiently reduced when this type of supply chain can be established.

Clean and Effective Containers
Strict ocean shipping guidelines ensure all refrigerated containers used for pharma cargo are cleaned thoroughly before every shipment. They are also inspected before every trip to ensure effectiveness and functionality.

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Hristo Petkov, Global Pharmaceutical Lead, has been a part of the Maersk Line trade team for nearly five years. He started working with the Intra Americas market, followed by experience in the East Coast of South America to Europe continental trade. Two years ago, Hristo joined the Reefer Management Team at Maersk Line, focusing on refrigerated commodities. As a part of this dedicated team, he has developed a true passion for pharma cold chain logistics. 
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