Kuehne + Nagel acquires Quick International, express courier for pharmaceuticals

Action consolidates leading courier companies with larger freight forwarders


In late November, Switzerland-based Kuehne + Nagel announced the acquisition of Quick International Courier, a global express-courier firm that has been a significant player in handling clinical trial materials and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments. Just a few weeks before, Quick announced that its Specialized Healthcare Logistics unit was partnering with Vineti, an IT vendor specializing in the complex logistics around cellular and genetic therapies.

With this acquisition, most of the leading express delivery firms for biopharma are now subsidiaries of other players. FedEx acquired TNT Express in 2017; UPS acquired Marken in 2016, and World Courier was picked up by AmerisourceBergen in 2012. There are other express firms all over the world, but biopharma companies have been relying on these firms for the specialized, high-touch services needed in clinical trials and some distribution of commercial products for years.

“With its unique expertise in time-critical shipments in the fields of aviation and pharma & healthcare – both key strategic focus and investment areas for Kuehne + Nagel – the company perfectly complements our existing global portfolio. Our customers will benefit from a much greater scope of services and capability for time-critical shipments, while Quick’s customers will get access to Kuehne + Nagel’s global network across more than 100 countries,” said Yngve Ruud, member of the managing board of Kuehne + Nagel, responsible for airfreight, in a statement.