UPS has announced the launch of a critical package delivery service in Hong Kong targeted at healthcare and other temperature-sensitive items.
Called "UPS Premier," the service now available to Hong Kong customers is a "highly-specialised, best-in-class shipping service" combining a new level of tracking, prioritisation and recovery for patient-critical, time- and temperature-sensitive shipments, UPS said.
"Visibility and traceability are essential to prioritising the life-saving medications our customers' ship and their customers need," said Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, noting that the difference between life and death for patients often hinges on the ability to quickly ship and precisely track, monitor and locate medications.
"Over the past couple of years, UPS Premier has already helped enable the delivery of hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines around the world with near-perfect on-time delivery. We're excited to be adding another industry-leading service to the wide range of products and solutions available to UPS customers in Hong Kong," Wheeler added.
Of the three levels in the UPS Premier service portfolio available globally, UPS Premier Gold is now available in Hong Kong.
UPS said the Premier Gold service offers acceleration and 'first-in first-off' prioritisation, and near real-time monitoring made possible through state-of-the-art proprietary mesh sensors built into the package labelling to narrow visibility down to three metres within the UPS network.
Other benefits include an expedited package recovery process that allows the shipper to configure specific handling instructions should an intervention be required, plus capacity for same-day redelivery.
UPS Premier provides temperature-controlled shipping in environments spanning ambient to frozen, depending on specific shipment requirements. The entire process is also overseen 24/7 by live agents.
"According to recent research by Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong is currently Asia's largest and the world's second-largest fundraising hub for biotechnology. With support from government initiatives, the city attracts many ground-breaking healthcare companies and innovations, many of which have highly specialised logistical requirements," said Lauren Zhao, managing director of Hong Kong and Macau.
"UPS Premier combines visibility, traceability, control, recovery and international brokerage prioritisation into one service for the first time, setting a new standard in what is possible for the critical logistics industry and taking that customer experience to a whole new level," Zhao added.
The global market for biologic therapeutic drugs is expected to grow in value from US$285.5 billion in 2020 to US$421.8 billion by 2025.
UPS said this growth is mirrored in Asia Pacific, where the biologics market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% from 2020 to 2026, accelerated by factors such as the increase in biologics therapy.
"Hence, innovations in biologics, speciality pharmaceuticals, and medications genetically personalised for each patient's needs are driving significant demand for precision logistics to support more patient-critical, time- and temperature-sensitive products," UPS added.
Critical healthcare packages that utilise UPS Premier Gold typically include tissue samples, biopsies, implantable medical devices for scheduled surgeries, and personally formulated medications.