Distribution of Medications in Portugal


Since May, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions’ Healthcare business unit has been offering healthcare customers an integrated solution for the distribution of medications to hospitals, pharmacies and wholesalers on the Iberian Peninsula – thanks to a collaborative effort with Rangel Logistics Solutions.

This Portuguese pharmaceutical logistics company with years of experience in the market is a strategic partner with the ability to meet the pharmaceutical industry’s high quality standards. Rangel’s Pharma division, founded in 2009, has all the structures necessary to safely deliver sensitive pharmaceutical products to customers, including its own temperature-controlled distribution network and innovative tracking systems. “The Rangel location in Montijo, close to Lisbon, distributes more than 100 million packages a year and has a team of 185 employees, a 70-vehicle fleet and 18,500 square meters of warehouse space with a capacity of about 30,000 pallets,” says Nuno Rangel, CEO of Rangel Logistics Solutions.

“The partnership represents a significant further development of Arvato’s Iberian solution for the pharmaceutical industry and helps our customers meet their requirements with reduced transport costs and increased delivery reliability,” explains Joaquin Prados, Sales & Solution Design Director for Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Spain. “In Spain, it is a statutory requirement that medications be delivered to recipients, such as pharmacies, within 24 hours of being shipped. We are now able to meet this requirement.” With this new partner, Arvato has expanded its European healthcare logistics network to a total of 13 countries, 20 locations and more than 200,000 square meters of warehouse space.

By combining similar IT systems, Rangel Pharma and Arvato will offer maximum transparency across all distribution processes, with intelligent automation and scanning procedures. “All processes are integrated into Arvato’s IT landscape and involve a harmonized quality management system,” summarizes Thorsten Winkelmann, President of Healthcare at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions. 

Rangel’s healthcare division recently invested in a €750,000 eKooler system, an innovative technology for refrigerated transport of pharmaceutical products. The new partner also has a warehouse in which products are stored at 2°C to 8°C. Rangel has also placed a new solution on the market that tests medications for counterfeiting in order to meet the European guidelines in the Falsified Medicines Directive.

The Montijo location and all of Arvato’s activities in Iberia will meet Good Distribution Practice (GDP) requirements. “Our portfolio in Portugal includes services that range from warehousing, pick and pack, transport and returns management to emergency shipments,” says Joaquin Prados.

About Rangel

  • Rangel Logistics Solutions was founded in 1980 and quickly positioned itself in the market as a global logistics service provider.
  • The company offers transport and logistics services in categories that include the following: Customs Broker, Road Freight, Air & Sea Freight, International Express, Express & Parcel, Contract Logistics, Custom Critical and FeirExpo.
  • Today, Rangel has a presence in five countries and a worldwide network with global partners.
  • With its 1,500 employees, in 2017 Rangel had revenue of €170 million; it has 263,000 square meters of logistics space.

The network continues to grow


In order to ensure that it can meet the growing demand for a high level of local availability within European integrated logistics networks and also be optimally prepared for the impending Brexit, Arvato expanded its network of healthcare locations by adding a location in Birmingham; this British site is fully integrated into the European IT and QA landscape.

The warehouse was completed in the summer of 2018 and was first occupied in October. Then, in January of 2019, Arvato celebrated the launch of the new healthcare location with 25 employees in Birmingham. With a total area of 2,500 square meters, the new site offers space for a total of 1,100 pallet racks, spread throughout a 2,000-square-meter building with an additional 500-square-meter mezzanine. In mid-March, the first packages were then sent from the site to the manufacturer’s customers – for an international medical technology company and for a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Currently, the first six customers have already been implemented, including the Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka.

In a workshop with our customers, we discussed possible delivery scenarios for Brexit and are optimally prepared for this as well.
Special pharmaceutical industry requirements are met

Our customers’ pharmaceutical and medical technology products are stored in an ambient temperature range of between 15°C and 25°C. This year, temperature-controlled zones are set to be added for storing products at 2°C to 8°C and -20°C. The site already received its GDP certification in January and thus meets the accepted Good Distribution Practice standards. The plan is for GMP licensing to occur during summer 2019 so that manufacturing activities can also be carried out. Furthermore, this month the site received the ISO 9001 certificate according to the standards for international quality management, ISO 13485 is also in the pipeline.

The Birmingham site received the applicable certificates from Great Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in February. In April, handling of refrigerated products and export activities were added to the certification. The ability to export to other countries is thus ensured.

We are optimally prepared for Brexit, regardless of the form it takes

Adele Smith
Managing Director Arvato Supply Chain Healthcare in UK

Arvato handles order-to-cash service, consignment management and transport services from the location. “Because of the growing demand in Great Britain, the new location in Birmingham is an important step for the expansion of the Arvato network. With the certificates we have obtained, we can offer customized healthcare supply chain solutions for our customers,” says Dr. Sebastian Verhoeven, Vice President of STOK Europe.  “The forecast is for shipment of over 5 million units per year,” the president adds.