Industry collaboration, Poseidon, targets ocean freight of pharmaceuticals

Multi-vendor Team-Up approach should ease systems integration


For over a year, Alan Kennedy, an industry consultant, has been promoting an effort called Team-Up, specifically to foster collaboration among vendors and service providers involved in pharma logistics. Now, he is about to announce one of its first such collaborations, called the Poseidon model for ocean freight, which will be unveiled at the upcoming IQPC Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference (London, Feb. 1).
According to Kennedy, “Poseidon logistics, product and service partners are hand-picked and rigorously vetted prior to signing the Poseidon Partnering Agreement which tightly commits them to the program and governs their behavior and performance.” Vendors on board with the program include Maersk, H. Essers, Marsh, DuPont, Pelican Biothermal, Logtag Recorders and Controlant.

When Team-Up was announced, Kennedy noted that “the Team-Up approach has been designed to foster the collaborative working practices that are implicit in partnership-dependent programs, such as IATA’s CEIV program.” (The Center for Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharma Logistics, in turn, is an effort to standardize logistics practices around common industry practices and, although organized by the International Air Freight Assn., is meant to apply to more than air cargo practices.) In theory, vendors who join the Poseidon initiative will have agreed to things like shared data practices and uniformity in packaging procedures, but the Team-Up documentation is sketchy on how this is to be promulgated and enforced.

Ocean freight of pharmaceutical products, in turn, is an especially valuable option for the pharma industry today, if only because air freight prices (the more typical mode of shipping finished pharma products) has been rising in cost for more than two years, and is expected to jump again this year as the world economy re-energizes.