In the Congo, the pharmaceutical sector accounts for a large share of the overall health sector. And yet, informal trade is highly developed in this area and the government laments the large-scale importation of counterfeit medicines, which supplies nearly 450 illegal retail outlets throughout the country.
The market is shared among three major wholesalers, SEP, LABOREX and UBIPHARM, which have all confidently entrusted Bolloré Logistics with the task of importing medicines and hygiene and beauty products. With the goal of fulfilling its customers’ needs as efficiently as possible, Bolloré Logistics has taken on board the specific nature and challenges inherent to their line of business and adapted its offers, logistics solutions and methods to meet those needs. The approach is based on a “vertical marketing” system.
Logistics solutions tailored to the needs of all pharmaceutics players
Our customers in the pharmaceutical sector have very specific requirements. In the Congo, for example, on the official pharmaceutical market, the retail price of medicines is fixed by the government. As a result, wholesalers have very stringent cost requirements to ensure they are able to generate acceptable profit margins. Given this constraint, our logistics service must therefore ensure a high level of quality whilst keeping costs to a minimum.
In addition, the imports received by customers in this sector are necessarily urgent. Wholesalers regularly enlist our air transit services for these goods, which include high-speed customs clearance, meticulous follow-up of orders, team members on hand when the aircraft lands and immediate delivery to customers, especially in the case of medicines requiring a temperature-controlled environment. We therefore guarantee a fast, efficient operation and offer a range of end-to-end services (air transit and shipping, customs clearance, storage and land transport right up to final delivery) as well as local value-added services.
Bolloré Logistics naturally undertakes to meet our customers’ requirements in terms of lead times, cost and compliance with regulations, since the latter are all essential aspects of their business. One of our customers explains: “In the pharmaceutical sector, we are confronted with peak periods in terms of orders and challenges regarding storage facilities. Medicines are sensitive products and we need a responsive logistics partner, especially when everything comes to a standstill due to some aspect of the administrative procedures. I’m quite satisfied with the teams from Bolloré Logistics Congo, who have shown their ability to listen and communicate effectively, and are improving all the time.”
Our contribution to the growth of the pharmaceutical sector
The difficult economic, administrative and regulatory environment is not an obstacle to investments in this business sector. Proof lies in the fact that the wholesaler S.E.P CONGO is about to be integrated into EUROPHARMA – CFAO GROUP. The distributor and producer of pharmaceutical goods and hygiene and beauty products, IMMEX Pharma, is also considering building a plant for the manufacture of generic medicines in Oyo. The likely aim of this project is to extend its distribution throughout the sub-region, in other words, to the Central African Republic, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. In this framework, Bolloré Logistics will remain a valued logistics partner and will build on its familiarity with the Congo Basin trade corridors to meet the growing needs of distributors in the sector.