- UPS will purchase Marken, a global provider of supply chain solutions to the life sciences industry, according to a press release this week. Marken will remain self-operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS.
- Marken services 49,000 clinical trial sites, which are subject to significant regulation and scientific constraints. Traceability and reliability is key for logistics providers, since any deviation in time or temperature could affect the results of often-expensive investigations.
- The Marken deal is part of a string of UPS investments and acquisitions in clinical trial logistics for drug and vaccine research, reported The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Citing a need to expand into global markets as healthcare efforts around the world steadily improve, UPS is streamlining its capabilities through upgrades allowing the company move temperature-sensitive biological specimens in and out of more than 60 countries.
With the new acquisition, UPS is looking to gain market share over FedEx and DHL, which currently dominate the market, according to Logistics Trends & Insights' Cathy Robinson.
The high-risk, high-need nature of clinical trial and healthcare logistics makes the service a profitable venture. The losses associated with temperature excursions in healthcare are estimated at $35 billion. Risk mitigation is an absolute necessity, making contingency planning a requirement.
Marken's position as a trusted clinical trial logistics provider will help UPS break into a competitive market, since healthcare shippers place a premium on brand-reliability. Simply, as more companies outsource their clinical trials through academic partnerships or ventures, using a well-known shipper avoids logistics liabilities and consequent disputes.