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Article: Stringent SOPs and 24-7 Service Smooth Transport and Secure Trust

By Amerisourcebergen

Customer Background

World Courier’s clients often have stringent security requirements and complex logistics needs. That’s why many clients select World Courier — because in some cases, there are quite literally no other providers who can meet the clients’ high standards for service. In this case, World Courier partnered with a customer focused on the research, development and manufacturing of products to treat life threatening diseases. The company runs multiple clinical stage development programs, including phase III trials. To preserve confidentiality, the company is referred to here as “Manufacturer Y.” 


Manufacturer Y approached World Courier regarding management of secure transport for large quantities of a temperature-controlled, specialty pharmaceutical product. Manufacturer Y had previously used another logistics provider, that failed to meet the manufacturer’s admittedly high expectations.
As the product was produced in Denmark and shipped to the United States, the route was a long one — more than 7,000 km. But transport handling for this temperature- sensitive product was not the only detail. Security requirements at the product destination and extensive customer SOPs made World Courier’s qualification process far more extensive and rigorous than usual. 


World Courier’s first endeavor in its strategic partnership with this new customer was to find the right packaging for Manufacturer Y’s product. In-house packaging experts at World Courier explored a number of solutions with the customer, eventually selecting an industry-leading active container with dry ice as coolant.

To accommodate the customer’s stringent operational and security needs, World Courier worked with the customer to develop SOPs for both transportation and security. That meant customer-qualified vehicles and undisclosed routes from filling facility to storage facility. It also meant — and still means — the highest level of communication and risk management, including consignee deliveries for finished product. Every possible event must be foreseen, evaluated and mitigated with SOPs borne from years of testing, qualification and audits.

That’s not to say that things never go wrong. In the early stages of the partnership, the packaging provider had no units available at the airport for a shipment that had already been booked, meaning a potential — and unacceptable — delay in product delivery. When the packaging provider was unable to deliver replacement units, World Courier’s in-market, high-touch specialists quickly located alternative equipment that could be prioritized and available at the airport next-day.

In another instance, World Courier customer specialists used the standard post-flight process and identified that the airline did not load Manufacturer Y’s shipment as booked. The specialists leveraged their relationships and persistence to locate the shipment and make alternative arrangements to ensure the shipment was transported securely and in a timely manner. 


The success of World Courier’s partnership amid such complexity is due in large part to both the customer’s commitment to rigorous SOPs and World Courier’s ability to align with customer needs and act quickly when the unexpected arises. Crucial to the flawless execution has been the collaboration across World Courier’s global team of specialists who have comprehensive understanding of Manufacturer Y’s SOPs and the in-market expertise to navigate local markets. Finally, the true difference-maker was World Courier’s ability to work around-the-clock when necessary, keeping Manufacturer Y informed at every stage and allowing the customer to take full comfort in its selected partner. 

Looking to the Future

As the partnership grows, World Courier and the customer have been able to modify SOPs based on evolving quality management systems and lessons learned. The customer also continually performs transport and security audits on World Courier offices and other appropriate partners.