Healthcare Logistics Case Study: Global Pharma

Discover how GEODIS helped a major pharmaceutical client to optimize their medical supply chain and strengthen their international networks.

Our supply chain case studies show how we use our logistics expertise to improve business outcomes for our clients. 

Scaling global operations for a U.S. pharmaceutical company

Our client, a U.S.-based retail pharmacy chain, was changing their sourcing model from domestic to international. GEODIS provided international freight forwarding services and successfully transitioned our client onto a secure, reliable, and optimized supply chain. 

Key takeaways


  • A large pharmaceutical company needed support from freight forwarding, customs, and trade services to migrate their sourcing model from domestic to international
  • GEODIS helped to guide this transition, setting up the necessary changes and processes to support an effortless migration
  • We maintained a stringently controlled, cold-chain supply line to keep essential medications in peak condition
  • Our efforts boosted our client's operating margins and secured healthcare logistics for highly valuable pharmaceuticals 

Facts about our pharmaceutical client


  • Our client is a U.S.-based retail pharmacy chain
  • Our client was new to international freight forwarding for pharmaceuticals, and was changing their sourcing model from domestic to international
  • Our client has several key supply-chain nodes including Atlanta, GA, USA; LaVergne, TN, USA; Western Austria; and Frankfurt, Germany


Facts about our pharmaceutical client's products


  • We handle "biosimilar medications" on behalf of our client, managing around 80 pallets a month
  • These pharmaceuticals are highly sensitive, requiring refrigerated trucking and active temperature-controlled airline containers to maintain cold-chain temperatures of between 2-8° Celsius
  • These medications are also highly valuable, with each pallet worth around $1.2 million in import value

Key challenges


  • We worked to a short timeline and managed a steep learning curve while adapting to our client's new sourcing model: a change from domestic to international freight forwarding for pharmaceuticals
  • Cargo safety and theft protection are critical: temperatures must stay between 2-8° Celsius, and each cargo pallet is worth $1.2 million in import value
  • This was a high-visibility project within our client's business: it required high levels of adaptability, detail,  and attention, with no room for error

Healthcare logistics solutions


A dedicated solution design team

We have a hands-on approach and our team works in close partnership with our client. Our account manager collaborates across all of our stakeholders, and uses a consultative approach to help our client grow and overcome logistical constraints.


Customs and FDA clearance

We provide customs brokerage services and support the FDA release of cargo once goods arrive in the U.S.  


Just-in-time cargo turnaround and timely flight schedules

We provide same-day redelivery from the Frankfurt pharmaceutical hub to the airline for fast air export. Timely flights and on-time schedule vs bookings.


Active monitoring devices

Our tracking devices provide real-time location, light, shock, temperature, humidity tracking, and alerts.

Client benefits


On-time performance

  • On-time performance for all transit times, including door-to-door and airport-to-door
  • Same-day redelivery, minimizing the time that cargo is sitting idle 

Cost optimization and productivity increases

  • Avoid extra storage days and reduce costs for leasing containers
  • Return of air containers to the service stations before leases expire


Greater reliability

  • One-stop shop solution for all transportation and visibility with real-time traceability within IRIS
  • No temperature deviations outside of 2-8° Celsius requirements
  • No cargo loss
Woman with tablet reviewing medical goods

Results for our pharmaceutical client


  • We improved operating margins: a successful implementation allowed for a successful product launch for pharmaceutical distribution
  • We provided a competitive advantage: cost-competitive biosimilar medication is now available at a U.S. distribution center for our client's customer base
  • We use continuous optimization: this ensures regulatory compliance and reduces the risk of penalties while improving the overall medical supply chain

How GEODIS can help you with medical logistics

GEODIS is one of the biggest logistics providers in the U.S. and around the world. Here's what you can expect when you partner with us on your healthcare supply chain:


  • Enjoy complete freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and trade services for your healthcare supply chain
  • Provide safe and compliant pickup, transportation, hand-off, and delivery between providers, pharmacies, patients, and others
  • Supply on-demand, dedicated, trained, and certified drivers
  • Offer best-in-class cold-chain and environmentally controlled transportation options
  • Control costs while optimizing medical supply chain services
  • Access to 24x7 local and regional courier services across multiple geographic areas
  • Support for regular and STAT pickups and deliveries
  • Real-time communications, tracking, job updates, and proof of delivery for healthcare logistics
  • Integration with your processes, systems, and technologies
  • Support growth into new transport networks and regions

Discover how we provide affordable medical logistics outsourcing, while maximizing quality and compliance. Get in touch with GEODIS to see how we can meet your healthcare needs.