Roche pilots direct shipments to Europe

Roche ($RHHBY) Diagnostics has reportedly begun a cold-chain-equipped direct flight each weekend from Indianapolis to Luxembourg. The move lets the drugmaker skip a stop in Chicago--European shipments were typically trucked from Indianapolis to catch the flight from Chicago--which posed supply chain risks.

One risk came from the additional handling of the diabetes test strips, which require cold chain handling. The consumables were subject to temperature extremes during truck loading and unloading, reports IndyStar. Another risk was cargo theft on the road.

With the new setup, test strips stay in cool storage at the Indianapolis International Airport facility, according to the report. Just before flight time, workers load sealed pallets directly onto the refrigeration-equipped plane via its open nose.

DB Schenker is Roche Diagnostics' logistics provider for the shipments, the article said. It arranged the flights for Roche on Cargolux Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Roche ships 25 to 40 tons each week, leaving ample space onboard for products from other companies.

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