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Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status will benefit the movement of temperature-controlled pharma products
MD Logistics (Plainfield, IN) has just announced the granting of FTZ status with US Customs for its 200,000-sq.ft. pharma logistics facility, which is close to (and associated with) the Indianapolis International Airport Authority. FTZ status allows goods to move into MD Logistics’ temperature-controlled, cGMP-compliant warehouse space before customs clearance is granted—and without the delays that randomly occur for any shipments passing through US Customs. The FTZ status “lubricates the supply chain for pharmaceuticals,” as John Sell, VP at the firm, says.
MD Logistics is by no means the only 3PL operating with FTZ status for pharmaceuticals in the US (and in fact, it has a similar FTZ for retail and consumer goods already in place)—but it’s not widely available, either. For pharma clients, says Sell, the main advantage is keeping a tight rein on both refrigerated and controlled-room-temperature (CRT) products: “Almost any multinational pharma company has had products spoiled by delays in Customs,” he says. But there are also financial advantages in certain circumstances: the ability to consolidate reports to Customs and to FDA (and thereby minimize filing charges); certain customs duties that are specific to product classifications; and the possibility of staging (“positioning”) a shipment pending FDA approval, so that products can move into commerce immediately when approval is granted. (This situation can affect both newly approved generics following the expiration of a patent, and for product launches of new drugs.) But overall, the important feature is supply chain flexibility.
MD Logistics operates pharma-specific storage and transportation facilities in Indiana and Reno, NV, and provides repackaging services, customs brokerage and freight forwarding for pharma clients nationally.