MISSISSAUGA, Ontario: Kuehne + Nagel Ltd threw a party on April 4th, 2012 to celebrate the opening of its new logistics centre.
About 250 people, including the mayor of Mississauga and representatives of the government of Switzerland attended the event and were offered tours of the the new building, which is the the company’s first Canadian, GMP-compliant (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility capable of handling pharmaceutical products.
Toronto-based Alveda Pharma has signed on as the first customer to use the new site, and will begin shipping out goods on April 23. ATS will act as the 3PL.
The temperature-controlled pharmaceutical section takes up 7,430sqm (80,000sqf) of the 35,300sqm (380,000sqf facility) and cost the company $1.5 million in upgrades. It is built of block construction with white, scrubbable surfaces, a rodent trap and monitoring system, accordion cargo bay doors (to eliminate dust build-up), lockable areas for storage of narcotics or other controlled substances, quarantine cages to handle recalled products, and cold chain storage. The healthcare-grade flooring is self-polishing sodium silicate with sealed joints. Only white-wheeled, battery-operated forklifts will be permitted in the centre.
Darrell Skelly, national pharma/healthcare product development manager for Kuehne + Nagel says the new facility provides a last-mile solution to companies moving pharmaceutical goods into and out of the Canadian market.
“What’s great for us is being able to help clients serve patients better. Now we can secure our clients’ product safety starting from anywhere in the world and ending at the patients in this country. It completes the whole supply chain.”
In addition to the pharmaceutical section, the majority of the new facility was designed for healthcare appliances, but the first client isn’t from the medical world. Instead, Bell Mobility has struck a deal to run a high-touch repair and returns operation out of the new centre.
The non-pharmaceutical portion of the building is constructed more like a typical warehouse with metal walls and traditional cargo doors, but the entire facility has been designed to be ecologically friendly. It has a white PVC roof to reflect the heat, a rainwater collection system including bioswales, motion sensor-activated lighting, and destratification fans to ensure that ambient temperatures at the floor and the ceiling are the same. Because pharmaceuticals will be stored on-site, employees entering the facility will undergo metal-detector screening.
This is Kuehne + Nagel’s second facility in the same industrial park, and the company has the option to build a third in the same area. According to Kuehne+Nagel Ltd president, John Levin, given how quickly clients are coming onboard, that’s likely to happen sooner than the company was originally planning.
Kuehne + Nagel Inc president, North America, John Hextall, says the company is committed to its Canadian operations.
“Canada is a special place for Kuehne + Nagel. It was our first international operation after opening in Germany. Then we branched out to Switzerland. We’re here for the long-term.”