DHL expands medical, pharma logistics capacity in Germany

DHL global forwarding hub-leipzig
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DHL Global Forwarding has expanded its Leipzig Life Sciences & Healthcare (LSH) facility by approximately 2,500 sqm. The centre is located close to Leipzig Airport (LGG) and houses state-of-the-art equipment for storing and handling temperature-controlled pharmaceutical and medical products, such as vaccinations.

DHL global forwarding hub-leipzig
The Leipzig Life Sciences & Healthcare (LSH) facility.

The previous transhipment and warehouse space of approximately 2,200 sqm in Leipzig was more than doubled when the expansion was completed in the last quarter of 2020.

The second warehouse covers more than 2,500 sqm and is divided into two temperature zones. In the larger zone comprising approximately 1,700 sqm, the temperature can be regulated between 15 and 25°C. The smaller zone of around 850 sqm can be cooled down to 2-8°C. This allows pharmaceutical products to be stored at an appropriately cool temperature, to ensure their integrity.

Dry ice handling for passively cooled transport containers and handling of actively cooled transport containers are also part of the standard repertoire. The facility also operates under the highest safety and security standards, with systems in place to immediately report temperature deviations and fire risks, as well as break-ins.

After Frankfurt am Main (FRA), Leipzig is the second DHL Global Forwarding facility to be expanded in terms of capacity and equipment. DHL has successfully achieved IATA CEIV Pharma recertification for its GxP (good practice) facilities in Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and Leipzig. This enables the company’s preparedness in Germany to meet the logistical requirements related to importing and exporting Covid-19 vaccinations.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have observed a strong increase in demand for pharmaceutical products and goods,” says Tobias Schmidt, CEO DHL Global Forwarding in Germany. “Given the good news regarding the development of Covid-19 vaccinations, this demand is likely to increase even further in the coming months.

“That is why we prepared for this scenario early on and put everything in place to be able to respond effectively and efficiently. Of course, we also benefit from the fact that DHL Global Forwarding Germany is already very experienced in handling and transporting temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments. We have a tight, state-of-the-art network that meets all the strict regulatory requirements in place,” Schmidt adds.

DHL notes that both it and IATA are jointly committed to ensuring that the pharmaceutical industries regulatory requirements are met. A standardised approach in air freight increases productivity, accuracy, and reliability, while enabling transport in compliance with all applicable regulations, DHL says.

DHL began IATA CEIV Pharma certification of its facilities worldwide in 2016, raising the bar in pharmaceutical logistics. After independent third-party audits and training courses for employees on site, the DHL GxP facilities in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Leipzig have successfully renewed the quality label.

At each location, IATA verifies compliance with its Temperature Control Regulations (TCR), the European Union’s GDP (Good Distribution Practices) guidelines, and further requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other regulatory bodies.

DHL also provides its employees, at all levels, and in all functional areas around the world, with vital tools to meet the requirements of both its customers and the supervisory authorities.

For example, it provided a special training programme to implement IATA regulation standards at scale in key GxP (good practice) facilities worldwide. The Certified Life Sciences Specialist (CLSS) program, offered as part of the Certified initiative, provides a comprehensive curriculum of mandatory training and specialised courses and materials.


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