Logistics & Supply Chain

Achema 2018: Logistics Hotspot Comes to Stay

Chemical and Pharma Logistics is a Focal Topic at World Forum for the Process Industries

26.04.2018 -

Aren’t there quite some logistics trade shows already? Yes, there are! But there you have to look very closely to find specialists catering to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. At Achema 2018 the wallflowers elsewhere are given VIP treatment with a special exhibition zone. At the Logistics Hotspot in Hall 1.1 well-known companies in the logistics trade exhibit and are central contact point for nearly 4,000 exhibitors and 170,000 participants. On top of it, a presentation stage is embedded in the special exhibition zone where the pros share their insider stories all week long.

Conveyor belts, cold storage, labelling – logistics have been present at Achema since forever; now the organizers want to emphasize the topic even more. With the focal topic Chemical and Pharma Logistics, they invite companies along the whole value chain to establish logistics as a permanent topic at this exhibition.

“We are serving up roughly 4,000 exhibitors from chemistry and pharma to the logistics industry on a plate”, says Thomas Scheuring, CEO of Dechema, “for logisticians reaching out into these industries Achema 2018 is a must.”

Big Names Offer Big Services

Eminent names have responded to the call and are pioneering the logistics topic at Achema 2018: Kühne + Nagel demonstrate that former service providers are becoming increasingly integrated in the supply chain and are rising to system partners. Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has entrusted Kühne + Nagel with the core business of transporting products from the raw materials supplier to trade customers. It’s a first that a pharmaceutical company has handed over tasks thus far-reaching, but according to Kühne + Nagel the deal has roused interest in the industry.

A topic that caused upheaval in the logistics business is good distribution practice (GDP). The regulation has been effective since 2013, but smaller players in the industry are still struggling with it, especially with the matter of transport temperature. GDP requires drugs to be transported at the same temperature they are stored at. To guarantee transport temperatures between 15°C and 25°C, logistics companies had to invest big time in air-conditioned trucks. TNT, Pharmaserv Logistics and Unitax routinely offer ambient transport in temperature controlled vehicles. As just-in-time delivery of drugs from the manufacturer to the pharmacy is not feasible, these companies also offer pharma storage as part of their portfolio.

The Label Becomes Digitized

Chemical and pharma logistics starts long before goods are loaded into a shipping container. For a digitized production, palettes, drums and cartons need labels that last and are machine-readable. Conventional adhesive labels such as those made by Varilabel or PriorityID can be used and the data encoded as barcodes or QR-codes. However, the label has become digital, too, and comes along as RFID-Tag (radio frequency identification), presented by PriorityID and Rako Security Label. The big advantage: information can be readout through the closed carton as the scanner does not need visual contact. Near field communication chips (NFC), familiar from contactless payment, are also making their way into logistics.

Travel Safely!

When goods are finally loaded into a shipping container a new logistics chapter opens up: safety and security. If you think “loading” means stacking drums into a shipping container you have never seen what rough sea can do to a cargo ship – it is tossed around like a paper boat. Elaborate lashing strap systems made by Rainer Ladungssicherungstechnik totally make sense not only for transport by ship. They keep drums and other containers in place on trucks and airplanes, too. Even if you have to transport just “regular” chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the transport risk needs to be considered. If you need to move dangerous goods DGM Deutschland is the company to turn to. They know the drill of international hazardous materials transportation and offer their customers help, advice and software.

The Logistics Hotspot Comes to Stay

Established logistics trade shows cover a broad range of the topic, Achema goes deep into the aspects prevailing in the chemicals and pharma industries. “Achema is the trade show where you can find everything to equip and run a chemical or pharma production plant. If freight forwarders and logistics consultants become part of the industry, of course they will find a home here. This year it takes some pioneering spirit to exhibit at the Logistics Hotspot, but in the long run the topic will integrate seamlessly into the trade show”, Thomas Scheuring says. (sa)