AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with NYK Logistics (UK) Ltd., for the distribution of product throughout Europe. NYK will call on its pan-European network of road transport partners to provide temperature-controlled distribution of nearly 50,000 pallets per year from 10 manufacturing plants across the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, to 30 delivery points across the continent. Prior to the appointment of NYK, AstraZeneca operated its various manufacturing plants independently, giving each responsibility for its own transportation. The new deal makes NYK the provider of centralized management and planning of the entire European road-transportation operation. AstraZeneca will benefit from co-loading and round-trip opportunities among the network of plants, NYK said. The shipper also has access to the best freight rates within the whole European market, as well as a common approach to operating and security standards. NYK said it is developing co-loading opportunities with other pharmaceutical manufacturers in the provider's European network, a move that is expected to result in additional cost savings and environmental improvements. Longer term, the deal with NYK will allow AstraZeneca to implement a pull-oriented supply chain, based on actual customer orders rather than forecasts of demand.
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