Supply chain solutions for healthcare and pharma

The Rhenus Group is one of the leading logistics service providers for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. You, too, can benefit from our logistics expertise and decades of experience in dealing with the challenges of pharmaceuticals.
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Pharma and healthcare logistics: Supply chain solutions

As an experienced logistics solutions provider, Rhenus Germany knows the challenges that healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are facing today when it comes to storing and distributing their products. We work with you to create solutions for the challenges of tomorrow. These challenges range from increasing government regulations, growing customer, storage and distribution requirements and the need for greater flexibility and customisation of services all the way to the most important factors: the demand for cost reduction and process optimisation.

An industry subject to constant change

Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and their partners need to adapt quickly to changes in order to maintain their market position. Together, we can meet these challenges and realise ideal warehousing and distribution services for your industry.

Our services for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies

As a logistics specialist for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, our experience in managing all stages of the supply chain and the best ways to overcome any challenges has been acquired over many years of service. We understand that companies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry are subject to exacting quality standards, high pressure from the competition and huge responsibilities.

As the demands on supply chain solutions are constantly increasing and becoming ever more complex day by day, the provision of flexible and sophisticated services along all supply chain steps is crucial. A seamless solution chain, however, is not the only thing that is important for meeting customer needs; customisation and adaptation of solutions and services for different healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, their product types and logistics requirements is crucial. ​

Rhenus therefore offers a wide range of customised and intelligent logistics services to support you along all supply chain steps. Reliability, safety and special handling care are of utmost importance in the storage and distribution of all medical and healthcare products, but especially for temperature-sensitive and time-sensitive products. Our logistics solutions help you to increase the efficiency of your value chain, reduce your storage and transport costs and shorten your time to market.

The supply concept in the field of operational procurement logistics for hospitals outlines a comprehensive range of services offered by Rhenus Germany.

  • Definition of cross-dock and stock products
  • Monitoring of stock levels for agreed product groups
  • Supplier selection in cooperation with the customer
  • Placing orders with suppliers according to predefined criteria
  • Settlement of invoices

We compare physically received inbounds from suppliers with issued purchase orders in terms of delivery date, correct product, quantity, expiry date and product integrity. In conjunction with this, complaints processing for damaged and faulty deliveries involving consequences such as returns and complaints management is carried out promptly and with particular care.

Together with you, Rhenus Germany defines certain key figures for safety stock, average stock range and procurement replenishment frequency in relation to order lead times and type of product groups. We track thousands of stock keeping units (SKUs) not only in terms of stock levels but also in terms of their remaining shelf life.

We can check incoming invoices from suppliers, collectively invoice delivered goods on a monthly basis and continuously review stock levels and consumption as well as planning, while taking replenishment time, safety stock and stock coverage into account.

Our range of services encompasses customer master data maintenance, the continuous review and maintenance of disposition parameters as well as all aspects of supplier management.

As there are numerous aspects to consider, such as the main function of your outer packaging material, our Rhenus Purchasing Packaging Material will help you find the ideal material. It is crucial that your products are protected from external influences such as light, liquids or heat. We offer our customers cost-effective solutions that also provide maximum protection for their products.

To avoid unnecessary production downtime, flexibility for unplanned changes and full production efficiency are essential for well-thought-out production logistics. It is very important for us to provide you with a suitable storage location close to your production site to ensure a fast and secure production supply.

  • Production materials – For Rhenus Germany, high standards apply to storage and transport for production materials, whether raw, auxiliary or working materials in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), steel containers, palletised or unpalletised.
  • Hazardous material – Significant amounts of production materials in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are subject to regulatory and legal requirements for hazardous materials. Given the fact that most of these goods are subject to quality requirements such as ambient or frozen storage conditions, the complexity should not be underestimated. ​
  • Transport – Temperature-controlled shuttle services for production supply with several round trips per day can be realised on request. Depending on customer requirements, just-in-time or only sequential deliveries for different unloading points are possible. On request and in case of emergency supply or pending supply interruption, we can arrange emergency shuttles and Saturday working hours in order to ensure that you don’t have to bear any production delays or interruptions.

Optimal advice and a well-functioning process are at the heart of our field support services. Using Rhenus services, our customers reduce their storage and distribution costs and also benefit from our many years of experience in handling marketing and advertising materials.

  • Promotional materials – Rhenus Germany not only professionally stores, manages and dispatches paper-based promotional materials, but also other marketing materials such as writing instruments. Furthermore, with our ISO 13485 certificate, we can ship marketing material together with pharmaceutical products and deliver your material to sales and back office staff as well as to end customers.
  • Pick & pack – The Rhenus pick & pack service can also be applied to marketing materials. It is based on the Rhenus warehouse management system (WMS) and selects the optimal carton size for your shipments. This has a number of cost-saving effects.  ​
  • Repackaging​ – Whether repackaging to avoid small production batch sizes, manufacturing errors or special requirements from customers and supplier countries – they all require high quality standards. Our repackaging service includes quality testing and product assembly.
  • Exhibition preparation – We offer cost-effective complete packages for your exhibitions. From exhibition preparation to assembly and return of exhibition materials.
  • Export hubs – Rhenus export hubs for healthcare and pharmaceutical customers are typically characterised by high pallet or parcel volumes. Be it by airfreight, ocean freight, road freight or parcel express service, outbound shipments usually involve a high level of complexity.

With the support of the Rhenus WMS and experienced local staff, Rhenus Germany is able to fulfil the requirements of various country regulations and recipient preferences. This includes filling sea containers and preparing and securing air freight as well as complying with hazardous goods regulations, customs procedures and quality requirements.


An integral part of the distribution of pharmaceutical products and medical devices is compliance with predefined temperature specifications to maintain the cold chain, continuously monitored by data loggers.  ​

  • Pick & pack service – The pick & pack service is one of our core competencies and is offered for packages weighing less than 30 kilograms. With the help of the Rhenus WMS, we are able to select the ideal carton for your orders in terms of size and other agreed criteria even before picking. This has several positive effects, from lower costs for the packaging material itself to lower transport costs on the distribution side.
  • Full pallets and mixed pallets – Larger shipments for potential recipients such as wholesalers, hospitals and nursing homes are usually shipped on full pallets or stretched mixed pallets.

In recent years, the field of reverse logistics has steadily gained importance in the supply chain processes of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Rhenus has developed suitable solutions designed to meet the challenges associated with the complexity of reverse logistics and returns management.

Upon receipt of customer returns, Rhenus employees use predefined customer specifications and agreed returns guidelines to assess whether returns can be reused immediately, whether they can be reused after processing, whether they have to be quarantined until further notice and whether goods have to be destroyed or processed for reuse.

Rhenus Germany provides a variety of services in the field of returns processing:

  • Battery recharging
  • Cleaning small and large medical devices
  • Minor repairs and maintenance of small and large medical devices
  • Repacking and changing the inner or outer packaging
  • Customer dashboard with detailed information

Part of the returns management process involves providing information on the reason for return, which the customer can read in our customer dashboard. Return reasons can be defined based on customer requirements. This gives the customer the possibility to analyse return reasons in order to identify improvement potentials within a complex supply chain.

Rhenus Germany offers a seamless disposal concept that includes the collection of selected goods to be destroyed. This process is typically accompanied by quality management as well as a disposal specialist to ensure that all processes are carried out in accordance with official regulations and customers’ specific requirements. A certificate of destruction is issued in a timely manner to successfully complete the disposal process.

Advantages of the Rhenus healthcare locations

  • Professional expertise backed by 25 years of experience with healthcare and pharmaceutical projects.
  • More than 40,000 square metres of storage space for healthcare & pharma.
  • Our warehouses are certified compliant with all applicable standards for the storage and handling of healthcare & pharmaceutical goods according to GMP and GDP as well as ISO 13485.
  • We understand our customers’ challenges, needs and requirements.
  • Specially trained, flexible specialist staff.
  • Central location close to major parcel service hubs.

Quality assurance for healthcare & pharma

The Rhenus quality management system ensures that all warehouse and quality processes can be optimally carried out by means of seamless documentation and contributes to continuous improvement. We have developed our quality assurance system for pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on our ISO 9001 management system, which enables us to meet the requirements of GMP, GDP, other applicable laws and ISO standards such as ISO 13485.

Security with dedicated warehouse infrastructure

We take care of temperature and humidity monitoring, the storage system, pest control measures, cleaning, access authorisation and all communication processes with customers, suppliers and third parties. All of our warehouse processes, workflows and staff training are designed to be GMP compliant. For the best possible service, we can also add specific customer needs to our standard SOP within the framework of a specific quality agreement.

Our value-added services

Sampling and sample drawing

Rhenus Germany can offer sampling of raw materials and APIs as an integral part of a production supply chain. In this way, your supply chain can be designed to perform despite external storage and unnecessary transport routes can be avoided.

When finished products are delivered, Rhenus Germany offers sampling procedures based on an algorithm that you define. This ensures the quality of your productswithout any delay in the supply chain.

Repackaging

Legal changes in packaging regulations or requirements from marketing often require a change in packaging. Based on the available certificates (ISO13485 including manufacturing or the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s authorisation for secondary packaging), we can offer you appropriate value-added services. This way, your products are properly declared when they reach the customer.

Customer dashboard

We value the trust you place in us as a customer. Our customer dashboard provides you with full transparency on all operational processes as well as the quality-relevant data arising in the course of the CAPA process.
We put you in a position that ensures that you can always provide information to customers, authorities and colleagues.

Do you have any questions?

Our experts are there for you at all times.