Shipping and logistics provider DHL Express has launched a medical shipments service between Brazil and the U.S. in a bid to expand its share of lucrative business in the pharmaceutical and clinical research sector, the company said today.
The Plantation, Fla.-based company's DHL Medical Express Service (WMX) was piloted in Brazil beginning in November 2018, and will now expand to meet rising customer demand for faster and more predictable lead times, given the regulatory complexities that can delay exports, DHL says.
While the offering is not a first-time venture for DHL, which in 2018 launched a comparable service between Mexico and the U.S., the sector has been attracting increasing investment from other carriers. In recent years, UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. have also expanded their international pharmaceutical shipping chains.
DHL says its new Brazil-U.S. service offers the capability to manage the export and regulatory requirements for urgent shipments with specific temperature needs from several major cities in Brazil to most U.S. destinations in 24 to 48 hours, thus benefitting patients of clinical trials, who rely on prompt, accurate delivery of biological products and patient-specific treatments.
Specifically, the service is capable of transporting laboratory kits and medical devices, biological samples—such as blood, saliva, urine, and tissues—research products, vaccines, drugs for commercial and non-commercial use and medical devices. WMX provides a choice of temperature options (ambient, chilled, or frozen) through specialized thermal packaging, using pre-determined contingencies to circumvent delays, and 24-hour monitoring through DHL quality control centers.
The bilingual WMX service includes dry ice supplies and temperature-controlled packaging fulfillment, online tools for placing bookings and ordering supplies, and a web-based interface - Express Logistics Platform (ELP) - that connects sites. "Given the complexity of regulatory requirements in Brazil, our technology solution pre-prepares many of the necessary documents required by investigator sites to complete, while enabling DHL to begin the export and fiscal approval process the day-of- booking to mitigate delays," Brian Bralynski, DHL Express' director of life sciences healthcare Americas, said in a release.