DHL continues Asian build-out as pharma shipments rise

Logistics service provider DHL reports that it moved "a record number" of healthcare products in 2009 in Asia. Shipments of finished pharmaceuticals, vaccines, clinical trial supplies and medical equipment grew by seven percent compared with 2008, despite the economic downturn.

Company officials cite rising demand for healthcare products in such fast-expanding economies such as China and India for the rise, as well as the rapidly aging populations in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.

DHL also credits its China Competence Center at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai as a contributor to its 2009 gains. The company says it will open another center, in Tianjin, in 2010. In 2009 it completed a $32-million facility for air and ocean handling at Melbourne airport, which includes two cool rooms for controlled ambient and temperature sensitive products.

Last year, DHL committed to invest in Competence Centers in India, as well as facility expansion in Singapore.

- see the DHL release