The global pharmaceutical logistics market size was estimated at USD 92.66 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 146.71 billion by 2027, growing with an estimated CAGR of 7.97% during the forecast period. Technological advancements are disrupting the logistics providers to improve the healthcare business model ecosystem, including pharmaceuticals. Further, increased usage of logistics optimization tools, AI, IoT, and intelligent logistics platforms are likely to contribute to the future growth of the pharmaceutical logistics market.
Pharmaceutical logistics deals with manufacturing, processing, shipping materials, and resources and activities related to handling manufactured goods by their customers. Logistics companies play a crucial role in the functioning of any pharmaceutical company. The growing adoption of water-based pharmaceutical logistics is one of the significant driving factors in the pharmaceutical logistics market. Pharmaceutical logistics showed a healthy growth rate even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is undergoing several changes as the geriatric population drives the need for new pharma solutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created complexities in the global supply chain that has impacted all the modes of freight transportation, from air to rail cargo, that may take months or years to get back to normal.
Clinical research has recently become more globalized, with many of these studies being conducted globally and a significant increase in clinical trials in developing countries. The focus of clinical trial researchers is now shifting from developed markets of Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Singapore towards emerging economies like Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Major companies are striving to offer cloud-based supply chain services and secured supply chain functions as it helps pharmaceutical manufacturers safeguard the validity of the drugs. These solutions are expected to prevent the production and distribution of counterfeit drugs. According to DB Schenker, a subsidiary of DB Group, to increase transport density and reliability, the shift to digital rail operations and digitalization of infrastructure and vehicles is essential in the pharmaceutical logistics market. Also, in 2019, TrakCel, one of the global leaders in managing clinical supply chain logistics, partnered with Quick Group to provide industry-leading digital supply chain IT solutions for cell and gene therapies. Also, the recent emergence of cell and gene therapy is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the pharmaceutical logistics market.
Driving Factors Of The Global Pharmaceutical Logistics Market:
- Need for secure cold-chain solutions and increased monitoring
- Evolving storage and transportation needs
- Rising branded, generic, and OTC drugs
INSIGHTS BY THERAPY AREA
In therapy area segmentation, the communicable diseases segment dominated the global pharmaceutical logistics market with a share of 19.96% owing to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic that upsurged the communicable disease cases. According to the latest European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report, tuberculosis remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, second only to COVID-19, and drug-resistant TB strains are still a major concern that is made the communicable diseases dominant in the last few years. In 2019, communicable diseases ranked third with the highest number of cases, while the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the segment in 2021. The upsurge in COVID-19 cases contributed to the highest share of communicable diseases, leading to increased demand for OTC medicines and vaccines.
The oncology segment accounted for the second-largest segment in the pharmaceutical logistics market with a revenue share of 15.17%, owing to growing cancer prevalence and demand for anti-tumor agents. It is also expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 14.02%. The current pharmaceuticals pipeline is disproportionately focused on cancer.
The world is expecting more pandemics in the future, particularly with monkeypox spreading in more than 60 countries which are expected to drive the demand for new medications and more clinical trials, thus boosting the demand for logistics during clinical trials and distributing products.
INSIGHTS BY ORIGIN
Under origin segmentation, branded drugs accounted for the highest revenue share in the global pharmaceutical logistics market. This is mainly due to their high preference and the high cost of branded drugs, which makes up the high revenue share of pharmaceutical logistics for branded drugs. According to the Association for Accessible Medicines, US Generic & Biosimilar Medicines Savings Report and National Sales Perspectives, in December 2020, branded drugs spending was around 80% of the share from 2018-2020. However, the generic drugs segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 72.25% during the forecast period.
INSIGHTS BY PRODUCT
Under product segmentation, small molecule drugs dominate the global pharmaceutical logistics market with a revenue share of 63.02% in 2021 due to increasing demand and its cost-effectiveness, ease of administration, and easy dosing. The demand for small-molecule drugs remains high, with figures showing that 97% of marketed drugs are classified as small molecules. However, biologics lead among the top-selling products and new sales generators projected for 2022, whereas small molecules continue to lead in new drug approvals. According to US FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, of the 50 new molecular entities approved by the US FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in 2021, 36 (72%) were small molecules, and 14(28%) were biologics.
INSIGHTS BY FUNCTION
As transportation is a crucial part of the logistics chain, thus it accounts for the highest revenue share of 71.66% in the pharmaceutical logistics market in 2021 and continues to grow with the highest CAGR of 8.20% during the forecast period. The demand for temperature-controlled transportation is also rising to maintain the quality of the products. Road transportation dominates the transportation segment with a revenue share of 66.38% in 2021, whereas the water and air transportation segments accounted for 21.21% and 12.41%, respectively, in the same year. The highest share of road transportation can be attributed to its low cost in terms of workforce and operation. In January 2021, more than 58% of US-Canada cross-border freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail with more than 16% of cross-border freight.
However, in 2020, European land transport declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between April and August 2020, after decreased prices and falling demand, prices grew exponentially to the previous year’s level from October 2020, and the demand increased significantly. As the air rates are higher than water and road, thus the demand for logistics via air is lowest.
Air freight is 78% more expensive than ocean freight, leading the pack with 80% of all temperature excursions for pharmaceutical products transportation. In comparison, ocean transportation has a mere 1% temperature excursion rate, while road transport is a little higher, with 18% of all the excursions. There is still a lot of work for the air cargo supply chain to come up to speed for the growing global trade in pharmaceutical products. Despite that, the global pharmaceutical logistics market by air is growing at the fastest CAGR of 9.16% during the forecast period.
North America region accounts for the highest revenue share of 38.70% in the global pharmaceutical logistics market in 2021 and holds the presence of most pharmaceutical suppliers. The US is the leading country worldwide with the highest share of pharmaceuticals. About five of the ten top pharmaceutical companies in 2020 were from the US. In the US, branded drugs accounted for around 83.9% of spending. In 2020, about 8.1% of worldwide drug and medicine shipments originated from North America.
North America and Europe have accounted for about 80% of monoclonal antibodies market share alone; thus, the growing demand for biologics, i.e., vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, and increasing investments in R&D are the major driving factors for the pharmaceutical logistics market. Europe is the number one exporter of pharmaceutical drugs. The pharmaceutical logistics demand in Europe is driven by the growing demand for biologics such as vaccines, propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and growing investments by leading pharmaceutical firms. In 2019, pharmaceutical industry sales in the country increased by 5.7%, reaching about USD 52.1 billion. More than 500 pharmaceutical companies are in Germany. Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) constitute the backbone of the economic sector, with around 90% of drug manufacturers. In 2018, Germany generated a production value of USD 42.1 billion, making it the leading pharmaceutical manufacturing country in Europe.
The pharmaceutical logistics market in APAC was valued at USD 20.79 billion in 2021. Asia Pacific is the largest manufacturing region and provider of generic drugs, vaccines, OTC drugs, biosimilars, custom research manufacturing, and active pharmaceutical ingredients; many countries are importing pharmaceuticals from this region. Hence, the growing demand for these pharmaceutical products is the major driving factor for transportation and warehousing activities in the region. India has the highest share of about 20% of the global supply volume. Moreover, it contributes to around 60% of global vaccines. India majorly exports biologics, which contribute to about 75% of the total pharmaceutical exports out of India. In addition, Latin America, the Middle East & Africa, and the APAC region are the major emerging markets for pharmaceutical logistics market growth. Factors such as rapid population growth, steady increase in the elderly population, and increased prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases are the major driving factors in these regions for growth in the pharmaceutical logistics market.
AmerisourceBergen, CEVA Logistics, Deutsch Post DHL, FedEx, Kuehne + Nagel, DB Schenker, and UPS are the key vendors in the pharmaceutical logistics market. These companies have a broad geographical footprint, a strong focus on innovation in logistics, and a diversified service portfolio. Upcoming new advanced technologies and increased demand for personalized medicines are providing lucrative opportunities for stakeholders to take the companies to the next level. Technologies such as data mining, mobile cloud, time analytics, and blockchain are expected to create better app interfaces and cloud infrastructure, which is expected to provide better growth opportunities in the post-pandemic pharmaceutical logistics market.
In addition to technological advances, companies invest in inorganic growth methods such as acquisitions. For instance, on June 2, 2021, the leading company, AmerisourceBergen, completed the acquisition of most of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Alliance Healthcare businesses for USD 6.27 billion cash which will help the company expand its reach and solutions in pharmaceutical distribution. Similarly, In August 2021, the leading company Deutsche Post DHL Group, signed an agreement to acquire 100% of J.F. Hillebrand Group and its subsidiaries.