Exel, the world leader in supply chain management, has been awarded a three-year contract to manage the distribution of diagnostic kits for Covance, a leading provider of drug development services to the pharmaceutical industry. Covance will benefit from Exel's express shipments and delivery services from its manufacturing site in the US to its test sites and clinics across Europe.

Exel will ship over 200 consignments each day from Covances' production plant in Indianapolis, US, to Exel's distribution hub in Schiphol, The Netherlands. Exel then ensures same day onward delivery using nominated express carriers to reach destinations within specific lead times. Exel is also managing the storage of packaging material, which is sent on with the kits to enable doctors to return clinical samples to local Covance laboratories.

The operation is supported by Exel's Managed Transportation System (MTS) which controls shipments and facilitates cost-effective allocation of consignments to carriers, along with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) links provide real time information to assist day-to-day planning and invoicing. Additionally, Exel is providing daily shipment tracking information, enabling Covance to streamline its administrative processes.

Nick Revell, Exel's Healthcare Sector Director in Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented, "This contract is evidence of a growing relationship between Covance and Exel which started five years ago with the provision of specialist shipment services by Exel's sister company, Marken. We are also currently working on supply chain solutions that meet Covance's distribution requirements for other parts of the world."

Jerome Jeanneret, Covance Director, and Manager of the Project, stated, "The contract with Exel is a key element in our strategy to rationalise the production
of diagnostics kits, providing us with a cost effective supply solution to our test sites across Europe."

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