May 17, 2020

Team Up and integrated pharma logistics supply chain culture

pharma logistics
pharma supply chain
Supply Chain
integrated network
Dale Benton
4 min
Team Up and integrated pharma logistics supply chain culture
A major pharm-logistics initiative has been founded and launched in a bid to improve the efficiency and integration of global pharma logistics supply ch...

A major pharm-logistics initiative has been founded and launched in a bid to improve the efficiency and integration of global pharma logistics supply chain.

Team-Up, announced at the IATA AirPharma Conference in Brussels 2016, is an industry driver programme to bring real collaborative working to the pharmaceutical logistics sector.

Here’s what you need to know about Team Up:

Collaboration is key

Team-Up has been established by a cross-section of sector leaders with the main aim of meeting the supply chain challenges posed by today’s rapidly changing market conditions. One way of tackling these challenges is through collaboration across the entire supply chain.

This is where Team-Up comes in.

“TEAM-UP will not only identify and explain the general principles and protocols of collaborative working, it will provide flexible guidance on how these principles can be interpreted and applied in a pharma-logistics context”

There’s value in productivity

Productivity and cost reductions are two major talking points in any industry, particularly the pharma supply chain and logistics industry. It is said that major companies across the $1 trillion industry are spending close to £10bn per year on cold logistics alone.  Team-Up lays out the differences between an integrated network when compared to a traditional supply chain.

Better visibility in end-to-end supply chain, an increase in information transparency, a risk sharing corporate culture, a better more formal risk/change management approach and a philosophy for continuous development are all identified in Team Up’s prospectus as key advantages of an integrated network.

Collaborative goals start with Team-Up

In striving for a more collaborative supply chain, particularly amongst stakeholder sin the pharma and bio-pharma logistics sectors, Team-Up has outlined four main goals:

  1. Realigning the corporate culture of pharma-logistics to better support integrated working
  2. Sharing collaborative best practice and providing the industry with practical advice and tools in order to standardise partnering methodologies and facilitate the assembly of integrated supply networks
  3. Providing shippers and logistics providers with a recognised accreditation status for exemplary collaborative working and to promote these credentials to all sector stakeholders
  4. Strengthening the business case for integrated supply networks by building an evidence-base from pilot programmes and other evaluations

You’re Accreditation to the industry

Team-Up has developed a charter that defines the accreditation as a recognition of outstanding collaborative direction and adherence to established cultural and behavioural standards. The aim of the accreditation is to create a standardised performance measure that can allow peers to recognise an organisation’s commitment, ability and capacity for integrated working.

For a supplier, it’s a sign of a particular shipper using Team Up accredited partners. Not only that, a shipper will use Team Up’s credentials as a necessary or preferred, pre-qualification condition when selection and short listing suppliers.

The power is in the hands of the shippers. And logistics partners.

For Team Up to fully reform the pharma-logistics supply chain culture, it’s going to take the input and dedication from the pharma shipper. For the pharma shipper, it is paramount that it uses its expertise, coercive influence and buying power to promote, facilitate and enable supply chain integration. In essence, by using its unique customer status to exercise sound leadership over its supply chain partners, a shipper holds the key to the doorway to better distribution, cost control, compliancy, safety, visibility and risk control.

Where do we go from here?

Team Up isn’t here to say that integrated working across the pharma logistics industry is non existant, rather it is addressing that the current trend of integrated approach tends to be proprietary in nature, asymmetric in execution, limited in scope and often not much more than lip service in reality.

Shippers are dependent on the knowledge and performance of their logistics partners to maintain the integrity of their sensitive, high-value products. By working in a TEAM-UP climate of collaboration and transparency both shippers and suppliers can open the door to better business, more constructive relationships, clear market differentiation and real competitive advantage.

Don’t just take our word for it….

TEAM-UP founder Alan Kennedy stressed the urgent need for greater integration of the pharma-logistics supply chain: "With the huge challenges it is facing, the pharmaceutical logistics sector faces a very uncertain future unless it is prepared to abandon its traditional silo thinking and practices in favour of a more collaborative approach. The advent of the TEAM-UP integration framework will help accelerate the changes needed and open the doors to faster, more equitable, more systematic supply chain integration. There is no longer any excuse for inertia."

The TEAM-UP programme is scheduled to go live in January 2017 but interested parties are invited to find out more now by downloading the TEAM-UP Prospectus from


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Jul 22, 2021

Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal

2 min
Uber Freight’s acquisition of Transplace will supercharge parent Uber’s move into logistics and supply chain

Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn. 

The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions. 

“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.

Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain

Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services. 

The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.

Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding. 

Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services. 

“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron. 

Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added. 

History of Uber Freight

Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany. 

The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.

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