How to Export Life Science Products
By Ian Silverton
Senior Operations Manager, FedEx Express Spain
The life science sector in Spain is about to boom. Increased funding following the global economic downturn will create an environment in which Spain’s pharmaceutical industry has more opportunities than ever to sell overseas. Many are already doing so, with Spain exports accounting for 4.5% of the global total.
Those seeking to build upon the nation's proud life science heritage stand to gain the most, though transporting across borders and time zones poses new challenges. To help overcome these, we've compiled our top five insights to achieving export success in this industry.
The importance of on-time delivery. Ensuring shipments arrive on time is crucial, but becomes harder to achieve the further they travel. Healthcare supply chains, for example, are often complex and involve multiple waypoints. The key is striking a balance between value and speed. Having the option to pick up the phone and have your products in a customer's hands within two days is invaluable in securing business that might otherwise go elsewhere.
Ensuring product integrity and supply chain visibility. It’s imperative to know that critical and sensitive shipments will arrive on time in the exact condition they need to be. You also need to be able to assess if they have been properly stored for the duration of the journey. The FedEx SenseAware® service uses sensor based technology to provide near real-time visibility on shipments in terms of location, temperature, shock, barometric pressure and exposure to light.
Regulatory compliance and customs challenges. Regulations not only change frequently, but differ from country/territory to country/territory. The key is to get ahead of the game by understanding the rules and regulations from the start. You don't need to become an expert; your logistics provider can assist you on potential hurdles and provide strategic advices.
Choosing markets. Established or emerging markets, that is the question. Finding the right fit for your products is about more than simply following what everyone else is doing. You could, for example, look to Russia where almost 80 percent of healthcare products are imported,1 or China where pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow an average 17.7 percent per year until 2017.2 Tapping into your logistics provider's expertise is again an effective way of researching new markets, and identifying the right opportunities for your business.
A responsive supply chain. Sometimes the unexpected happens. When it does, you need the reassurance that the challenge can be overcome without delay. Services, such as FedEx Priority Alert Plus®, can help by offering proactive recovery, dry ice replenishment, gel pack conditioning and access to cold storage.
Remember, you do not have to be a transportation expert to excel in the life sciences sector. Our specialists are here to help. Working with life science companies is an exciting prospect for logistics providers and we enjoy nothing more than helping them expand whether at home or abroad.
Spain for Biotechnology, Pharmacy and Life Sciencies. ICEX, September 2014.
FarmaIndustria, September 2014.