When a pharmaceutical manufacturer or wholesale pharmacy supplier manages their logistics, they can only factor in costs pertaining to their own products. A third-party logistics expert can account for space left in transportation vehicles and allocate those to another supplier or company, reducing costs.
When you only have to pay for half of the truckload or share the costs for a storage facility, you can make sure that every cent spent is accounted for. Many drug companies are realizing that 3PL providers take a huge strain off their business management and practices while still providing efficiency and transparency throughout. According to market researchers, 3PL for pharmaceuticals was worth $94.4 billion in 2020 and is set to increase by nearly 6% each year.
A 3PL provider can also help to create a lower carbon footprint. Full trucks mean fewer trucks. If every pharmaceutical company sends half a truckload of goods out on the road, that leaves space for another to fill. By utilizing logistics experts to allocate that space, the environmental impact of the pharmaceutical supply chain could, in theory, be halved. Of course, this intriguing math only works when all pharma companies incorporate 3PL into their logistics model.
Smaller pharmaceutical companies, those that work with a focused customer base, often don’t have the big budgets of larger corporations. Running in-house logistics becomes costly, especially when there are sudden changes in the healthcare market, such as a drop in drug prices or a lack of availability of specific ingredients. These specialty pharmaceutical suppliers may not have the margin in their budget to deal with a transformation of this magnitude.
Having logistics experts on hand allows you to manage change more effectively without it feeling like a crisis. In many cases, outsourcing logistics to a 3PL provider could mean the difference between a niche pharmaceutical company thriving or barely surviving.