Healthcare companies looking to expand in China can now be supported by a healthcare facility recently opened by global logistics provider UPS.
UPS recently formally opened its new facility in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, to offer logistics services to companies who would like to tap into the expanding China market. The facility has been operational since the third quarter of 2012 and joins another similar facility in Shanghai and Sydney, Australia. The new facilities join the Singapore facility, which opened in 2011, to form the regional network.
UPS said having more facilities in the Asia Pacific region allows it to expand its healthcare logistics business globally. The next phase in the global expansion includes acquiring a European health company this year and the expansion of five existing North American facilities.
But for now, the expansion in the Asia Pacific region is an important step for UPS, particularly in China, which industry executives see as a market where opportunities abound. Industry executives surveyed for UPS' fifth annual "Pain in the (Supply) Chain" study identified China as a market for expansion opportunities in healthcare.
"China represents one of the most important markets for UPS and our customers," said Jim Barber, president, UPS International. "To capture this growth of consumer demand in healthcare, as well as increase presence in China, we are investing in bringing the best-in-class solutions to our customers."
The state-of-the-art facility can handle the specific storage and distribution needs of pharmaceutical companies, including specialised freight and small package transportation and distribution services in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide. Customers also have the option to go into customised solutions.
UPS said the China facility offers a new distribution model to healthcare companies. Healthcare companies looking at distributing in China can reduce their distribution cost by relying on the UPS facility and services instead of investing in their own distribution supply chain.
"With many healthcare companies demanding rigorous supply chain solutions in China, we are seeing increasing opportunities," said Richard Loi, president, UPS China. "The UPS Hangzhou facility, along with our existing Shanghai medical device facility, will speed products to key markets within China, and underscores UPS's commitment to strengthening our China network."
On the part of China, having a major company such as UPS strengthens its position as a key player in logistics and healthcare.
"Many global companies are establishing a presence in Hangzhou and we are pleased to have worked with UPS to raise the standards of healthcare in China," said Zhao Liming, vice governor, Xiaoshan District. "The logistics infrastructure and expertise they bring certainly helps strengthen Hangzhou's position as a major healthcare transportation hub."
One of the first clients to sign up for the Hangzhou facility is MSD, better known as Merck in North America, and a global healthcare player.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.