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DHL to grow medical supply chain network with $400 million investment

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 10, 2022
Business Affairs
DHL Supply Chain is investing $400 million to expand its pharmaceutical and medical device distribution network (Photo courtesy of DHL Supply Chain)
DHL Supply Chain will spend $400 million to build six new U.S. sites and expand its pharmaceutical and medical device distribution network.

The company is the global and North American contract logistics unit for Deutsche Post DHL Group and offers warehousing, secondary packaging, managed transportation and end-to-end supply chain management services in the life sciences and healthcare (LSHC) sector. It is seeking to increase its footprint by 27% by growing the list of its LSHC sites to 34 by the end of 2022.

Additionally, it aims to capitalize on growing demand in pharmaceutical logistics, which is expected to more than double in market size in the U.S. between 2020 and 2030, according to DC Velocity.

The investment includes costs for investing in new buildings and technology and the fit-out and start-up of new or expanded operations. Sites include Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; Reno, Nevada; and Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

“This substantial expansion will only further deepen the connections between our customers and the patients they serve by providing best-in-class end-to-end supply chain solutions,” said Jim Saponaro, president of life sciences and healthcare at DHL Supply Chain North America, in a statement.

The new sites will offer nearly three million more square feet of temperature-controlled space for storing pharmaceuticals. The emergence of the COVID-19 vaccine has raised many concerns about the ability to store and transport it, as the Pfizer and Moderna shots must be stored at specific cold temperatures. They also will use integrated solutions for packaging and managing transport.

According to Fox 43, the Lebanon facility has already been under construction since last summer, with $88 million of the investment going toward building it. It will include two facilities. The first will be a 970,000 square-foot manufacturing, warehousing and distribution building. It is expected to create 200 new jobs and be up and running by the end of the first quarter 2022.

The LSHC sector is the fastest growing at DHL Supply Chain and aligns with the organization’s Accelerated Digitalization agenda for driving mass deployment of mature technologies, such as collaborative robotics, autonomous guided vehicles, smart wearables and augmented reality. These solutions are expected to aid in ongoing labor shortages not as a replacement but as complementary tools that can help support repetitive and strenuous tasks, reduce error rates and improve efficiency.

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