UPS Inc., continuing its expansion into the healthcare logistics segment, said today it has purchased Pieffe Group, an Italy-based pharmaceutical logistics company, for an undisclosed sum.
Family-owned Pieffe has been in business for 35 years and serves the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. The purchase represents a departure from UPS's past practice of building healthcare logistics capabilities mostly through organic growth and expansion.
Pieffe operates two healthcare distribution locations, one in Rome and the other in Milan, which total 753,000 square feet of space and include 12 cold storage areas. With the two facilities, UPS now has a network of 32 healthcare facilities worldwide, with a total of 4 million square feet of space.
UPS laid the groundwork for its push into healthcare logistics in 2000, when it acquired logistics firm Livingston Healthcare Services. Since then, it has mostly focused on building or expanding facilities in key markets. One exception was in 2009, when it acquired two U.S. facilities from pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. when Merck turned over most of its U.S. distribution operations to UPS.
During 2011, UPS opened dedicated healthcare facilities in Singapore, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, and Louisville, Ky., home of its global air hub.