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

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated 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

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