European Healthcare Distribution Association / Groupement International de la Répartition Pharmaceutique

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The leading wholesaler and service provider Galexis AG ensures timely and consistent drug supply of all partners in the Swiss health sector. High-quality, modern intralogistics guarantees high customer satisfaction and successful market presence. In order to be prepared for future requirements, the distribution center in Lausanne-Ecublens is comprehensively expanded. The distribution center in Niederbipp has already been successfully expanded.

Back in 2007, SSI SCHAEFER laid the foundation for one of the most modern distribution centers in the Swiss health sector for Galexis in Niederbipp. In 2016, the storage system was extended by a 3-aisle miniload with 81,500 bin storage locations as well as 65,000 bins to increase the system performance to up to 4,000 bins per hour. Recently, the latest expansion at Niederbipp was successfully completed. The existing shipping area was expanded to a total of four shipping areas to efficiently meet the increased demand.

The existing distribution center in Lausanne is currently comprehensively expanded and modernized. The project consists of two phases to be completed between the middle of 2020 and 2022. The distribution center has 4,000 m² of storage surface and enables the processing of 37,000 lines per day.

More information available here.





While Sensitech® monitored a record 15 million cargo shipments in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has further raised the importance of cargo monitoring to manage the cold chain. This concern is especially true in the life sciences sector, where diagnostic test kits, clinical trial materials and biologic medicines have strict quality compliance requirements.

“We help ensure temperature requirements are maintained without interruption,” said Mike Hurton, Vice President & General Manager, Sensitech. “Our ColdStream® solutions track temperature-sensitive life science products through all stages of the cold chain—from packaging and transportation to the warehouse and on to the consumer.”

Sensitech's efforts to assure product quality and patient safety have become a critical factor during this healthcare crisis. These efforts include a number of new opportunities to monitor the environmental conditions of diagnostic test kits and testing equipment for the COVID-19 virus.

“We have been asked to support last-minute emergency shipments of medicinal products used to lessen the impact of the virus in infected patients,” said Henry Ames, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Life Sciences, Sensitech.

In addition, Sensitech has secured new opportunities for real-time cargo security monitoring for shipments of medical supplies and equipment for field hospitals being established.

More information available here.





In challenging times, having a reliable and competent partner is crucial. A partner who secures the supply of the population with medicines and healthcare products, a partner who maintains the logistics processes in the background and provides support in all important areas. As your technology partner, KNAPP takes on the current challenges and make its contribution by securing and strengthening the supply chain. KNAPP provides support to its customers in the pharmaceutical wholesale and pharmacies worldwide throughout the entire lifecycle of their projects, thereby forming long-lasting partnerships.

More information available here.





One of the worldwide leading solution providers of modular warehousing and logistics solutions, SSI Schaefer, and the solution provider of automatic picking and digital applications, BD Rowa, will continue to cooperate. The two companies extended the corresponding contract by five more years. The aim of the cooperation is to provide customers in the healthcare sector with an overall solution to prepare them for future processes, such as e-prescriptions or establishing Hub & Spoke models.

“In many countries, we currently experience a change in the healthcare sector. While Germany is preparing for e-prescriptions, the UK focuses on Hub & Spoke,” explains Dirk Bockelmann, Global Commercial Director at BD Rowa. “Here, the customers expect partners who are aware of their requirements and the market and provide them with a solution. SSI Schaefer is a strong partner who offers manufacturers and distributors in the healthcare sector the suitable overall solution they need.”

More information available here.





IQVIA Biotech develops and delivers flexible, integrated clinical and commercial solutions designed specifically for early-stage life sciences companies 

DANBURY, Conn. & RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2019-- IQVIA™ (NYSE:IQV) today announced the launch of IQVIA™ Biotech and its new approach to delivering tailored clinical and commercial solutions for small biotech and biopharma companies. This solutions suite, supported by more than 1,000 dedicated employees, will deliver simplified operating procedures, specialized teams, and services to provide a more agile way for these innovators to reach their drug development and commercialization milestones. From initial planning to trial design and implementation to market launch and commercialization, IQVIA Biotech delivers a transparent and streamlined process with a deep foundation in science. 

“We designed this comprehensive solutions suite to address what our biotech customers were asking for — transparent and fit-for-purpose clinical processes with dedicated, therapeutically-aligned partners coupled with our unique set of enterprise capabilities,” said CEO and Chairman of IQVIA, Ari Bousbib. “Those end-to-end capabilities include the analytics, technology and human capital clients need to smartly plan the launch and commercialization pre- and post-approval of their products, and the real world evidence needed to support pricing, safety, compliance, and regulatory requirements. We combine two decades of institutional experience specifically serving emerging biopharma companies with the power of the IQVIA CORE™ to focus on the immediate goals of our biotech customers.” 

IQVIA’s novel solutions incorporate unparalleled real world evidence resources, advanced analytics, and transformative technology to drive efficiencies and innovation. The company’s deep therapeutic and scientific expertise allows the IQVIA Biotech team to address specific needs at each milestone on the clinical development path and on the pre- and post-approval commercialization path. Key therapy areas for IQVIA Biotech include oncology, central nervous system, dermatology, cardiovascular, and immunology, among many areas of expertise. But at the core of this offering is the team serving these clients. 

“Biotech companies are advancing the drug development pipeline forward, and when they succeed, we all succeed,” said Richard Staub, president, Research & Development Solutions at IQVIA. “By launching IQVIA Biotech as the first-of-its kind global business, we can support biotech clients with local teams and our full suite of capabilities from molecule to market.” 

For more information about IQVIA Biotech, visit

About IQVIA 

IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry. Formed through the merger of IMS Health and Quintiles, IQVIA applies human data science — leveraging the analytic rigor and clarity of data science to the ever-expanding scope of human science — to enable companies to reimagine and develop new approaches to clinical development and commercialization, speed innovation and accelerate improvements in healthcare outcomes. Powered by the IQVIA CORE™, IQVIA delivers unique and actionable insights at the intersection of large-scale analytics, transformative technology and extensive domain expertise, as well as execution capabilities. With more than 58,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries. 

IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. To learn more, visit  





Warehousing Fries and More at Minus 25 °C with a Cold Storage Expansion.

Aviko Deutschland GmbH appointed SSI Schaefer to conduct a modern update with a partial greenfield project at the existing logistics and production site in Rain am Lech. As a subsidiary of the Dutch Aviko Group, the company belongs to one of the largest potato processors in the world and the leading international provider of chilled potato products. As general contractor, SSI Schaefer is responsible for the logistics concept, the implementation plan, and the building of a new two-aisle high bay warehouse (HBW). As the intralogistics expert, SSI Schaefer is taking on the task of retrofitting two existing deep-freeze shuttle warehouses and creating a cohesive logistical unit.

More information available here





Drogaria Onofre, a Brazil-based retail chain owned by CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), announced that it is opening a new Urban Fulfillment Center that will be focused on fulfilling express deliveries in the city of São Paulo. With over 80 years of experience and a passion for pharmacy care, Onofre aims to help people achieve a healthier and happier life. This is delivered through a wide assortment of health and beauty items, with personalized customer services and convenience through the fast delivery of products and services. Drogaria Onofre has 44 stores, located in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, as well as 22 Onofre Clinics, which offer health care services from highly qualified pharmacists. Whether it be through the company’s e-commerce site, app or telesales, its online services offer delivery throughout Brazil in up to four hours, seven days a week. With Fastline delivery, the consumer can buy the items they need when and how they want to.

The online channel of Drogaria Onofre is responsible for approximately 50 percent of its net revenues. As a result, the company is investing in technologies and innovations, associated with logistics and distribution, which allow it to optimize the delivery process, to meet the increasing number of orders, and most importantly, to reach customers faster.

More information available here.





Thermo King and Frigoblock, transport solutions brands of Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments introduced a series of truck and trailer innovations harnessing the power of electricity, data and clean technology at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show on Sept. 20-27 in Hannover, Germany.

“The biggest challenges and opportunities lie in cities particularly with increasing urbanization and changing regulations,” said Pauli Johannesen, vice president and general manager for Truck, Trailer and Bus at Thermo King in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “The Thermo King and Frigoblock offering is designed to ‘future-proof’ transport companies’ investments by addressing regulatory requirements, optimizing fleet operations and ultimately improving the total cost of ownership.”

Thermo King and Frigoblock presented Thermotopia, its vision of a city of the future — a city where the transport refrigeration industry ensures the safety of transported foods and goods for rising populations while eliminating smog, congestion and excessive noise. Thermotopia is where technologies help transport companies stay ahead of the regulations and grow their businesses with increasingly cost effective and environmentally sustainable solutions.

More information available here. 





Parfums Christian Dior was looking for a solution that would provide both efficiency with utmost quality and chose an automation solution by KNAPP. A combination of shuttle and robot technology ensures that shop orders, retailer orders and individual deliveries can all be fulfilled in the international distribution centre in Saint Jean de Braye, France. 

The automation made possible through the combination of an OSR Shuttle system and robot technology also permitted Parfums Christian Dior to reduce the storage areas and logistics processes. The OSR Shuttle stores 90 % of the article range securely and space-effectively. In addition to omni-channel picking of full cases for the B2B business and single items for B2C orders, the shuttle system also provides temporary storage and sequences the orders prior to outbound delivery. 

What’s more, the OSR Shuttle system also guarantees an even distribution of the workload between the eight ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work stations. Here, diverse tasks including picking, storage, merging, inventory and other value-added services can be carried out ergonomically. The integrated software solution KiSoft provides Parfums Christian Dior with a complete overview and access to the entire article range. 

Robots take care of picking and mandatory labelling of the full cases. Combined with image recognition technology and the KiSoft Pack Master software, robots are also in place to form optimized pallets from various types of cartons.





In Enköping, Sweden, Oriola Corporation is modernizing their distribution center with the latest in warehouse automation by KNAPP using shuttle technology and robotic automation. 

In the heart of the Oriola distribution chain in Sweden, there is intense activity going on in addition to daily operations. Oriola is investing for the future by building a new, fully-automated distribution center in Enköping. “We are very pleased and proud to continue as supplier to Oriola in Enköping. We delivered one of our first automated picking lines (A-frame) many years ago, and now we will provide a solution which can help Oriola keep up with future demands in logistics,” stated Malin Schäfer, Managing Director of KNAPP AB who is responsible for the Nordic market. 

Each day, Oriola has the important task of distributing pharmaceutical products with the highest quality throughout Sweden. At the same time, logistics requirements are growing. “To meet the fast-changing needs of society and our customers, we are investing in a state-of-the-art logistics facility in connection to our distribution center in Enköping,” explained Niclas Ramsin, Director for Oriola logistics operations in Sweden. 

The new site is using the latest automation technology from the Austrian company, KNAPP AG and preparations for the start of production in autumn 2018 are in full swing. Both the building and the automation are making rapid progress towards completion. “KNAPP is at the forefront of automation for fast-moving consumer goods, with a broad portfolio of smart solutions. Together, we’ve set up different phases for the site, with the possibility for further growth using the technologies,” stated Ramsin. 

High degree of automation 

Equipped with a high degree of automation, the system will fulfill the requirements of the customers more efficiently. The OSR Shuttle system with 4 aisles and 5 Pick-it-Easy stations for goods-to-person picking very efficiently drives the warehouse. This is achieved in combination with KNAPP’s A-frame solution, where fast movers are picked automatically onto a central belt and automatically placed in an order tote.

The goods-to-person processes at the Pick-it-Easy work stations, zone picking and a new central belt solution with two SDA A-frames guarantee highly efficient order processing. A further OSR Shuttle system consolidates the pharmacy orders with e-commerce orders that will be picked up by the customers directly at the pharmacy. Just before the scheduled route departure, both types of orders, buffered in the OSR, are immediately retrieved in precise sequence for delivery.





Long-term success in the pharmaceutical sector calls for the highest transparency and consistent documentation. In order to meet these requirements, Pharmaceutical Distribution Company Slawex Sp. z o.o. from Lublin, leading pharmaceutical wholesaler in Poland, commissioned SSI Schaefer with the extension and modernization of their distribution center in Klaudyn. Fully automatic picking processes combined with the Schaefer Scan Machine meet pharmaceutical requirements and guidelines. 

The combination of 12 fully automated A-Frame picking systems with the Schaefer Scan Machine facilitates efficient single product picking and reading according to the guidelines of tracking and tracing for pharmaceutical products. The collaboratively developed concept is complemented by RF picking, a complex bin conveying system, de-stackers and lidding and address insertion machines.

Optimized flow of goods thanks to automation

After dispensing individual products from the automats onto the collecting belt, the products are aligned and read from all six sides by highly sensitive cameras. Possible reading errors are marked, and the affected bins are automatically directed to a check station. Depending on the order structure, the system reads up to 10,000 individual products per hour with batch number, expiry date and serial number - thus enabling a fully automatic, transparent and consistent documentation of pharmaceutical products. Warehouse management and coordinated process control of order handling are achieved with the efficient logistics software WAMAS® by SSI Schaefer.

The intralogistics expert implemented the first phase of the system extension during operation in a very short period of time and the scan tunnel will be implemented in the first half of 2018. "The combination of highest efficiency, maximum picking safety with zero-error tolerance and automated digitalization of all required data was essential for ordering," summarizes Grzegorz Matuszewski, Operational Director at Slawex. "An innovative system concept is an important component for making our processes prepared for Industry 4.0 and further company growth." 





GEHE is opening a brand-new, ultramodern subsidiary in Rostock, Germany, this summer. This investment in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will provide the company with top-notch storage and central belt technology for more than 100,000 different medicines. The new site in Rostock will consolidate the activities of the existing subsidiaries in Schwerin and Neubrandenburg. 

GEHE opted for a cutting-edge central belt combination of a fast-mover autopicker and a KNAPP-Store – a unique fusion in the McKesson Europe group – to supply their customers even more efficiently. The KNAPP-Store ensures easy handling of slow-moving articles and returns as well as articles with different lot numbers and date marks. Picking the articles onto a common central belt together with continuous tracking ensures fast and error-free processing of all articles in the warehouse. More information available here




In the past business year 2017/18, the company recorded an increase in its net revenue of 12.3 percent from 631.9 to 709.6 million euros.  The group of companies as a whole recorded a growth in profit of 29.8 percent generating 45.2 million euros. The order volume increased by 32 percent to 926 million euros. As a result, the past business year marked an increase in all relevant company key figures upon its conclusion on March 31, 2018. 

In comparison to the previous year, the KNAPP group not only increased net sales revenue considerably by over 12 percent, but also the EBIT by close to 30 percent from 35 to 45 million euros. The Managing Board of Gerald Hofer, Franz Mathi and Christian Grabner is delighted at the sustainable financial success and ascribe the increase in turnover to the company’s innovative force. “We’re extremely pleased with the success of the past business year, which once again showed sustainable increase in turnover as well as profit. Thanks to the commitment of our teams across over 35 sites, we recorded a record order intake of 926 million euros. A success that underlines our position on the market and enables us to increase our budget for research and development from 38 to over 40 million euros and to take further important steps that point the way to the future,” affirmed Gerald Hofer, CEO of KNAPP AG. Consequently, the business year 2018/19 will also focus on investment in new and further developments of infrastructure.

New companies under the KNAPP AG umbrella

KNAPP expands its competencies in control technology and bundles its expertise, experience and synergies through the acquisition of participating interests and sometimes complete integration of companies. KNAPP, for instance, expanded their participation in the KHT / Apostore Group to 100 % at the beginning of this year. Apostore develops and produces pharmacy autopickers for pharmacies, hospitals and wholesale. KNAPP can now top off its range for the pharma supply chain with the Apostore solutions – all the way to the pharmacy counters. KHT’s devices for weighing and measuring articles are also ideal additions to the product portfolio.

Since the autumn of 2017, KNAPP AG has also had a majority share in ISS-Automation. The Westphalian company from Gronau develops control and software solutions for the entire gamut of goods sortation – particularly for sorting systems of courier, express and parcel service providers – thereby complementing KNAPP’s competencies in the area of high-performance sorting solutions.

More information available here.





German-based SSI Schaefer Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of intralogistics products and solutions, has finalized the 100 % acquisition of Incas S.p.A., the leading Italian player in supply chain automation. 

Established in Biella in 1981, Incas offers to its customers industrial automation solutions for logistics and production monitoring as well as integrated system & software solutions. The deal fosters the creation of a leading player in supply chain automation in Italy. The Incas management will continue to manage the company and benefit from additional flexibility, skills and know-how on the Italian market with the rich technology and solution portfolio of SSI Schaefer thanks to the acquisition. 

Benno Reichmuth, CEO South West Europe of SSI Schaefer, commented: “The acquisition of Incas, with its almost 200 employees and strong competence in system integration and IT, fits perfectly into the overall strategy of SSI Schaefer and strengthens our local presence in South West Europe substantially. With Incas being a member of the SSI Schaefer Group, we become one of the strongest players on the Italian intralogistics market. Our customers can benefit from the global power of the SSI Schaefer Group and at the same time we can provide solutions in a professional manner with local competence from sales to after sales service.” 

Ermanno Rondi, Incas CEO, added: “Becoming part of SSI Schaefer, with which we share values and strategies, allows us to continue developing an innovative product and service portfolio in times of digitalization and networking. In this way we guarantee growth perspectives, stability and operational flexibility to fulfill the growing requirements of our local customers.”




Fragile goods require logistics solutions that guarantee safe handling and adapt to new types of packaging. Drugs from various temperature areas or fragile cosmetics in high-quality packaging – with a holistic view, SSI Schaefer can achieve a significant increase in performance with maximum process security. The intralogistics experts’ latest addition to the shuttle family convinces with intelligent functional variety, variable storage location sizes and maximum modularity – the SSI Flexi Shuttle. 

The SSI Flexi Shuttle is an innovative solution for space-optimized storage of cartons, trays as well as cubic and conical bins. The modular concept, which combines shuttles, lifts, and a racking system, allows tailored and highly flexible system concepts with excellent use of space and high levels of technical performance. Thanks to the universal load handling device with adjustable width, the Flexi Shuttle can adapt to single-, double-, and multiple-deep storage of a broad spectrum of loading units and dimensions, even in deep-freeze conditions. 

Unique: The rack conception with dynamically adjustable storage location sizes. Omitting permanently allocated x-storage positions, the rack conception facilitates space-optimized shelf occupancy with maximum storage density. This can even be achieved with a high diversity of loading units and a broad spectrum of transport dimensions. 

Considerable increases in performance can be achieved in conjunction with the patented 3D-MATRIX Solution®. As well as having high-performance lifts installed at the end of the aisles this solution also allows any number of integrated lifts to be installed in any position throughout the storage aisles. It is therefore possible to combine highly dynamic solutions with automated storage, buffering, and integrated sequencing in just one system.





The IQVIA firm put last year on a possible stabilization in 2017. This is not yet the case, the city drug market in France continues to erode. Growth has been sluggish since 2010 in a global context where other mature countries have been growing again since 2015. 

The economist Claude Le Pen confirms the French exception. Presenting the results of the study of IQVIA (ex QuintilesIMS), Intelligence 360, he assures, "the drug is a growing market in the world, even if this is not seen in France". Average growth of between 3 and 4% per year, driven by the return of the so-called mature countries, and primarily by the United States. 

More information available here





After the completion of the Corporate Headquarters and Development Centre in 2011, KNAPP AG is again investing in its Hart bei Graz location. A modern six-story office building with an Innovation Centre will be completed by the autumn of 2019. Two production halls will also be erected as well as a large photovoltaic plant for efficient energy management. KNAPP’s latest building project starts with the ground-breaking ceremony on March 16, 2018. 

The constantly growing number of employees – since 2004, the number of employees at the headquarters of the Styrian logistics company in Hart bei Graz has more than doubled from 1,000 to around 2,200 – and the associated lack of office space is just one of the reasons for the investment. KNAPP is growing on average by 150 new employees every year at the Hart bei Graz location alone and is constantly on the lookout for qualified technicians, especially in software and IT, but also for the planning, development and startup of logistics systems. 

“In recent years, our order receipt has shown growth of 15 to 16 percent, our sales have increased by an average of 14.5 and our profitability by 21 percent. This growth requires us to follow suit with our infrastructure both at our subsidiaries as well as here at the Hart bei Graz site,” declared KNAPP COO Franz Mathi about the motives behind the building expansion.

Innovation Centre with showroom and 470 office work stations

The Innovation Centre is being built where an old production hall once stood. The first construction machines are already up and running and will transform one part of the company premises for about 20 months into an impressive construction site. The new company building has a distinctive modern design and will be economically heated by district heating.

Next to a reception area on the ground floor, rooms are planned for employee and customer events as well as a separate theatre/lecture hall with space for 130 people. The building will have an upscale showroom with a 10-metre-high ceiling, in which KNAPP can present its customers and guests with the latest technologies in the world of warehouse logistics. Offices across four floors will provide 470 employees with a state-of-the-art work environment. The building wings are arranged in a comb formation, so the light-flooded offices are all just steps away from each other. The sizes of the rooms can be flexibly adapted and offer optimal opportunities for communication. All office floors have open spaces in the form of covered, recessed balconies. Landscaped roof terraces also form four courtyards that are designed for informal use by employees.

In parallel to the new building, a production hall will be expanded. Across 10,000 m², two more halls will be in construction, effectively doubling the production space. Here, there will also be work stations for around 150 employees. The stand-alone power supply is provided by two powerful rooftop photovoltaic systems on top of the two halls. All in all, KNAPP will be investing the equivalent of about a year’s profit – a clear commitment to the site.

Link to Press Release




Evolution does not happen overnight, but as a pioneer in the field of shuttle technology with over 15 years of innovation, experience and market expertise in shuttle systems, KNAPP has succeeded in making an evolutionary leap into the future of warehouse logistics. The OSR Shuttle Evo combines all the best features from the world of shuttles and can be seen for the first time at theLogiMAT 2018. 

Regardless of how the markets and industries develop over the coming years, the OSR Shuttle Evo is the perfect partner to meet the requirements. It can be flexibly expanded – tailored to investment and individual demands. In terms of design, the OSR Shuttle Evo has a new and distinctive style. Premium components and an intelligent design merge within minimal space to form a highly dynamic technical masterpiece that provides maximum productivity. KNAPP also pursues sustainability across the entire line – from product design, ergonomics and supplier selection all the way to life cycle management. Highest throughput and storage density on the market 

The OSR Shuttle Evo integrates all the functions of classic shuttle systems to give the highest throughput and storage density on themarket. New processes such as storage, picking, buffering, sequencing or replenishment can be integrated with ease. Every shuttle can reach all of the storage locations and container lifts on their storage level, allowing the system to provide precise sequencing. As a result, the OSR Shuttle Evo perfectly supports the development of new sectors as well as omni-channel distribution. Besides optimum system interconnection based on the warehouse software KiSoft or SAP EWM by KNAPP as part of an SAP strategy, the OSR Shuttle Evo guarantees security, quality and service for the entire system lifecycle.


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