David van Turton, Managing Director
Temperature controlled logistics is imperative for many pharmaceutical products, as spoiled drugs can have serious consequences on patient health and wellbeing. Healthcare Logistics plays a critical role in ensuring the availability of drugs to those in need across the globe, whether Over the Counter (OTC), Expanded Access Program (EAP) or Patients participating in Global Clinical Trails there is always a temperature & time critical requirement from door to door. Ameliorating these challenges is Cavalier Logistics UK Ltd, part of US-based Cavalier Logistics Biopharma Healthcare Services Division that offers specialized best-in-class cold chain solutions to the global pharmaceutical sector. Cavalier UK is IATA certified, MHRA WDA License holder and a Civil Aviation Authority Regulated Agent, and has its own state of the art facility within close proximity of the international Airport London Heathrow perfectly positioned to ensure everything is managed in a fully compliant way.
Pharma Tech Outlook caught up with Cavalier Logistics UK Managing Director David van Turton recently where we had a chance to drill down on the complex challenges facing the ‘Specialty’ logistics sector in this current time of Covid19 pandemic & Brexit.
Your company has gained positive recognition within the last three years within the Pharma Logistics Sector, what is your secret?
Our people. Without my hard-working colleagues, from the drivers in the hi viz coats collecting precious cargo right up to my Operations Manager who ensures that no box is left unchecked, no email left to chance & most importantly no stone is ever left unturned, our company wouldn’t have been successful.
What about products, services & fulfilment, what can you tell us about that?
We only use quality products & services, from Qualified packaging solutions, to branded Airlines with a tried & tested Pharma Airfreight capacity right through to Qualifying your global partners. It’s imperative that you get some air miles under your belt, albeit a little tricky in today’s climes but you must go and audit them, shake the tree a little, anyone can have a slick website & a glossy brochure, but actually visiting your oversea’s partners really helps you understand each other’s critical business needs, this is what my pharma clients expect as the due diligence is a critical, and often underrated section of the full GDP supply chain, ultimately all the stakeholders within the supply chain of any medicinal products have a legal obligation & to be frank a moral duty to ensure that the medicine reaches the patient in perfect condition.
Please provide an example of a recent high-profile shipment that required stealth cooperation between Cavalier & their Pharma Network Partners.
There was a situation where Cavalier Logistics UK was entrusted with a shipment of critical temp controlled medication to be delivered to a hospital in Bogotá, Colombia.
We encountered severely limited freight movements, as it was the time the world was going into lockdown due to the Corona pandemic, International Airports were closing their doors by the hour & we couldn’t find any suitable direct options departing from the UK. The product was refrigerated & we knew that the only way would be to find someone willing to travel onboard a flight due to 96 hour validation period from the shipping system used, we searched suitable options & decided a flight from Madrid was the only viable option, and drawing on the experience of our Pharma partner in Madrid allowed us to complete the necessary documents to export from UK, drive directly to Madrid, change PCM cool packs for fresh ones and place the shipment in the hands of our partners’ own On Board Courier (OBC). Having already received ok2send from our Columbian partner, with the assistance from Cavalier USA Head Office in Washington DC, the stage was set, shipment door delivered to the patient within 71 hours & the temperature data was a steady flat line in the optimum range of 4 degree Celsius. This is a superb example of how the joint coordination & drive for excellence of several key ‘speciality’ global partners spectacularly delivered against all the odds, an amazing feat, but we mustn’t rest on our laurels as this is all in a day’s work.
What is the PLN, you make several references to this organization?
Cavalier Logistics is the founding company and part of Pharmaceutical Logistics Network (PLN), a co-operative, nonprofit, professional global association of specialist freight forwarders. PLN is widely trusted by industry professionals who understand the growing need for a truly professional global association of speciality logistics providers where capability, resources, and infrastructure are in place to meet the most demanding client needs. It has the resource and infrastructure in place to meet the most demanding needs of the industry, with particular emphasis on biopharma cold chain requirements. PLN, today, have representation throughout Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Middle East and Oceania. Each of our global network locations is highly trained in all pharma operational principles and hold a full stock of fully validated thermal packaging to ensure complete temperature compliance and shipping solutions to suit your requirements. The PLN philosophy is the ‘Stronger As One’ approach; enabling each PLN member to tender for global RFQs with the knowledge and confidence that there is a compliant network supporting them. The PLN offers you the assurance of an ISO accredited, UK Limited and tax registered company to support your global pharma business.
With the coronavirus pandemic slowing global trade and Brexit looming large on the horizon, how are you looking at the situation as an opportunity rather than a threat?
It is a challenging situation, there’s no doubt about that, but goods are still being shipped around the world – particularly pharmaceutical and medical products that are in high demand for obvious reasons.
The interesting thing about being in this sector is that it’s influenced by a whole host of other sectors. For instance, the severe downturn in the aviation industry has pushed up air freight prices so more companies are using the sea freight route instead. They’re sending large amounts of freight less often to bring their costs down. We’ve adapted by setting up an ocean freight division to cater for increased demand for sea freight worldwide.