Zuellig Pharma, one of Asia’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, is stepping up to address the supply chain constraints covid-19 vaccines are facing in the region.
It announced Friday that it will expand its cold storage warehouse capacity in Asia over the next 12 months to meet the logistics requirements of vaccines.
Located in Phnom Penh, the company is building a $6 million 6,300 square meters warehouse which is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021. The new warehouse will be the country’s largest pharmaceutical warehouse accelerating Cambodia’s cold storage capacity by four times.
The location is close to the major patient population and air and sea transportation links to enable efficient distribution of vaccines and other products across the country.
Zuellig Pharma is actively investing to expand its warehouse and distribution facilities and has plans to build a new distribution center in Taiwan in 2024, representing an investment of approximately US$66 million.
Ten medical-grade freezers capable to store vaccines at -80 degrees Celsius will be added to the company’s existing capacity, which is currently at -20 degrees Celsius. It will also add five new cold chambers in the Philippines including three in Manila, and one each in Cebu and Davao respectively in January 2021.
The firm launched a new 25,000 square-meter national distribution center in Santa Rosa in September. The facility is equipped with automation and energy-efficient functionalities, including 10,000 square-meter solar panels, LED intelligent lighting, and a water-chilled cooling system. It is also the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified warehouse.
Through its subsidiary APL, Zuellig Pharma opened a national distribution center in West Java, the largest in the country, spanning 39,930 square meters. The warehouse has three different temperature-controlled environments and advanced monitoring systems to protect its operations and the integrity of products. Its advanced and resilient cold chain capability is also the largest size cold room capacity for pharmaceutical products in the country.
Also, APL manages cold rooms in 26 branches in 15 cities across the nation making the capacity much more resilient than capacity based on refrigerators.
Thailand expanded its capacity with a new cold chain room last year. Its total cold chain capacity now spans 4,070 square meters. All rooms are equipped with primary and secondary temperature alarms for enhanced product safety.
Zuellig Pharma operates cold store warehouses in Korea with a cumulative area of 10,000 square meters. The cold chain capacity was increased by 26% this year, with plans to add 1,000 pallets in 2021.
“COVID-19 has severely tested our operations over these past few months, but it has also presented opportunities for transformational change at Zuellig Pharma,” said John Graham, CEO Zuellig Pharma.
The company said it is transforming the healthcare system through innovation while helping the public and private sectors to augment the logistics infrastructure needed for efficient distribution of vaccines.
“We have brought forward our expansion plans to ensure that the vaccine will be accessible to those who need them most and can ramp up capacity quickly when needed,” Mr. Graham added.
Zuellig Pharma currently has over 80 distribution centers in 13 markets across Asia.