Logistics

With its fleet of iconic red vans, India Post propels drug transport

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on April 02, 2020 Published on April 02, 2020

Gujarat Circle ties up with drug manufacturers

For the pharma players grappling with transport network disruptions following the lockdown, a solution for drug delivery has emerged right in their backyard. India Post has come up with drug delivery solutions for drug manufacturers with its fleet of the iconic red postal vans.

The Gujarat Circle of India Post has proposed to the members of Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) to provide assistance in drug distribution from their plant site to the end points of distributors or wholesalers. The drug players lapped up the offer and have started drug dispatches to their end destinations, almost immediately.

Smooth sailing

Since Monday, more than 2,500 kg of medicines and medical equipment have been dispatched to various destinations across Gujarat, Mumbai and Rajasthan with the help of India Post. Gujarat accounts for about one-third of India’s overall pharmaceutical turnover.

 

“The Gujarat Circle of India Post came up with the proposal to provide us transportation facility at reasonable charges. In this hour of crisis, it is appreciable that a government agency is offering this support. The deliveries take place mostly the same day or the next day. It is faster than normal transport,” said Shrenik Shah, Secretary of IDMA, Gujarat.

Nationwide network

All types of pharmaceutical products, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs, are being shipped by India Post vehicles. Most of the drugs don't require temperature controls, but for those requiring it, the companies pack them in all-weather containers. The charges are nominal at ₹10 per kg. Ahmedabad being a drug manufacturing hub, transportation to other parts of the country is essential.

India Post, having a nationwide network and end-to-end logistics infrastructure, is best suited to offer a solution.

Speaking to Businessline, Ashok Kumar Poddar, Chief Post Master General (CPMG), Gujarat Circle, said, “Amid all the transport disruptions, I thought we must open a channel to ensure that medicines reach every corner of the country. We engaged with IDMA’s Gujarat officials and gave them our proposal on Sunday. And there were quick results. We started delivering medicines from the next day itself.”

Fleet of 40 vehicles

India post has about 40 vehicles earmarked for the purpose and can add more, if required. “We are ensuring minimum contact during the transit. We pick up and off-load the parcels using one/two loaders max. The vehicle has one driver and a helper, equipped with gloves, masks and sanitisers. They pick up from the factory and deliver at the user premises,” said Poddar, adding that each van is sanitised daily.

For India Post, inter-State transport is hassle-free, unlike private commercial transport.

On Wednesday it sent one wagon from Surat to Mumbai to pick up a ventilator, which had arrived from Puducherry. It will be brought to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar subsequently.

“The essential medical equipment, safety gears and the drugs necessary for patients are moving faster now,” said Shah.

Published on April 02, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.