UPS moves deeper into cold chain with Marken acquisition

London, UK: UPS is to purchase Marken which will remain self-operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS.

Marken services 49,000 clinical trial sites and its acquisition is part of a string of UPS investments and acquisitions in clinical trial logistics for drug and vaccine research.

UPS is upgrading it capability to move temperature-sensitive biological specimens in and out of more than 60 countries. With the new acquisition, UPS is looking to gain market share over FedEx and DHL, which currently dominate the market.

The high-risk, high-need nature of clinical trial and healthcare logistics makes the service a profitable venture. The losses associated with temperature-excursions in healthcare are estimated at $35 billion.

Marken’s position as a clinical trial logistics provider will help UPS break into a competitive market, since healthcare shippers place a premium on brand-reliability. Simply, as more companies outsource their clinical trials through academic partnerships or ventures, using a well-known shipper avoids logistics liabilities and consequent disputes.