Webinar for Pharma Industry hosted by Gubba Pharma Cold Storage

April 22, 2020 Pharma

WHO Declared COVID 19 as pandemic and considered it as deadly disease which is highly infectious, understanding the severity of the deadly disease government of India decided to LOCKDOWN and restricted the movement of people and vehicle.
Pharma Industry is considered as essential activity and allowed to operate, initially movement of vehicle carrying essential goods were allowed and later EXIM cargo were also given permission.
Gubba invited experts from the various verticals of supply chain. This webinar moderated by Mr.Kamal Jain of Cargomen Logistics saw eminent speakers presenting. Which include, Mr.Saurabh Kumar of GMR Group, Mr. Satish Lakkaraju of agility Logistics, Ms. Lakshmi Prasanna of Pharmexcil, Mr.Rahul Agarwal of Kool-Ex cold Chain, Mr.Gubba Kiran of Gubba Pharma Cold Storage.
Mr.Kamal Jain made opening remarks by sharing that Indian Pharma Industry contribute 40% of the global pharma needs and source 70 percent of raw material from China which is severely affected by the COVID 19 virus. Due to impact of COVID 19 whole supply chain system is paralysed, limited option for movement of goods are available as all the passenger flights are suspended, commitment to supply is poor.
Regional specific restriction to fight pandemic are also one of the bottleneck in the movement of goods as the regional authorities are giving utmost importance to human life and social distancing and lockdown is considered as the only measure to avoid vide spread of the Virus.
Pharma industry and supply chain system is interdependent and without proper supply chain pharma industry cannot perform effectively.
In such situation Gubba Pharma Cold Storage has initiated to organise a webinar to discuss on the possible solution for the challenges faced by the pharma industry in moving goods from point of production to final consumption.
Learned panellists gave their respective view point as summarised below.
Satish Lakkaraju Chief Commercial officer Agility Logistics (Global Freight Forwarder)
Satish informed the participants that the situation is unprecedented and most of the solutions are decided based on situational approach. As a global forwarder handling lot of pharma cargo, they decided to approach the client and understand the new requirements and devising the spot solutions. Staff are requested to work from home and given the desired facilities to remove difficulties if any. Company is not looking toward the additional expenditure incurred to support the pharmaceutical business.
Satish has appreciated the efforts of frontline staff of all the freight forwarders, Transporters and Customs broker and compared their efforts with the health worker fighting against the pandemic.
On being asked about the high air freight rates and limited freight options, he explained that airlines loading the revenue losses arise out of passenger flight operation to CARGO, which is resulting in higher freight cost, freight charges will remain higher till passenger flight operations comes to normalcy.
Bhibhu Bhushan from Biologics E (Manufacturer of Vaccines) – Express support given by various verticals in supply chain be it freight forwarder, transporter, Customs broker, and regulators is exemplary and first time all are working toward common goal. Both demand of medicine locally and internationally increased and one of the reasons is panic buying of regular drugs.
On being asked about the sanitation of imported cargo, he said Quality control team in the company has created standard operating procedure (SOP) for handling of imported cargo to avoid any spread of cargo through imported cargo.
On being asked about when we will have COVID 19 vaccines, he said few Indian companies and most of the global company are working toward it , but creating a vaccine is time consuming process involved different type of clinical and human trials.
Also expressed they are also exploring the various possibilities of moving the non-priority cargo through sea cargo.
Lakshmi – Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (PHARMAEXCIL) Expressed the role of PHARMAEXCIL as summarised below.

  • Diplomacy with various country trade bodies to resolve regulatory challenges.
  • Organising knowledge session and trade fairs and trade body meeting for creating new markets.
  • Mediating with government to resolve on ground issues like labour issues in Himachal Pradesh.
    On being asked about over dependence of on China for raw material, she expressed they are working hard an employing various methods to explore different options from last few years, and after pandemic our efforts become more faster and looking for manufacturer support in resolving such issues.

Saurabh Kumar GMR (Custodian Air Cargo Complex Hyderabad) – Mr Saurabh expressed the present situation of flight operations and various options available to importer and exporter TO and FROM Hyderabad. He also expressed there is a recovery in the volumes of cargo movement to and from Hyderabad and is confident once lockdown is over, revival will happen.
He has explained the various methods GMR is employing for safety and security of the people working around to avoid spread of virus and taking utmost care and employing WHO guidelines in handling cargo.
He has also informed participants about the various measures taken by them additionally for smooth movement of cargo which include various consultation with trade bodies and arranging transportation for the staff of freight forwarder and customs broker to attend their work at Air Cargo Complex.
Like all they are also facing shortage of manpower and motivating them to come for work and take required care in handling cargo.
On being asked about the export of fruits and vegetable and other perishable movement from Hyderabad he has informed that such cargo is increasing day by day .
Rahul Agarwal – Transporter (Koolex) – Rahul expressed the difficulty of transporter in cold chain is more related to the mindset, and local and regional bodies restrictions since most of the drivers are from the villages pressure of panchayat and similar bodies movement of people in and out of village is restricted . Under the situation where no food is available on the highway Dhaba driver community is demotivated to work toward intercity cargo movement. Off late government advised petrol bunk companies to arrange food for the drivers and allowed some Dhaba also to operate.
Rahul has informed the participants that domestic pharma cargo movement is more or less is undisturbed in spite of lockdown and in fact some of the medicine are being in more demand like BP, Diabetic and medicine used in usual ailments, and such buying is due to panic
On being asked the hygiene and sanitation of the vehicle after loading and unloading of one cargo , he expressed this is a matter of concern but the companies who are supporting to pharma companies are following all the guidelines required for distribution in short Good Distribution Practise is in place.
Kiran Gubba (Gubba Warehousing)- Has informed the participants that human resource is key to businesses in logistics vertical, and personalised care is the key to success. This is an unprecedented situation and all are fighting against pandemic and in such situation listening to their concern should be utmost priority.
On being asked how to handle inbound cargo received from foreign country to avoid any virus infection , he expressed all the possible measures and guidelines are being followed and advised all the participants to adhere to the GDP / GMP guidelines for the movement and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products are to be followed.
The webinar saw participation of over 120 industry men and concluded by addressing questions from the audience. We appreciate Pharma industry for its tremendous job of keeping the supply lines of crucial pharma going.

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