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AIT Worldwide Logistics acquires pharma forwarder

US-headquartered global freight forwarder AIT Worldwide Logistics has acquired Mach II Shipping Ltd, a UK-based freight forwarder specialising in worldwide distribution of pharmaceuticals and related products.

The deal includes a subsidiary in the Netherlands in addition to a global network of life sciences partners.

Mach II Shipping, commonly known as Mach 2 or Pharmafreight, offers shipping solutions in the life sciences industry, including transportation programmes for clinical trials, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), pharmaceutical machinery, and finished products.

“In addition to temperature-controlled air freight, Mach 2 provides outstanding dedicated road service for high-value life sciences moves throughout Europe with a managed fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles operated by Good Distribution Practices-trained independent contractors,” said AIT’s executive vice president, Life Sciences, Chris Amberg.

Amberg said services include in-house customs clearance and a temperature-controlled UK warehouse in Ashford, Middlesex, near Heathrow Airport.

A second office, Nieuw-Vennep, located close to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was opened in 2019 to avoid Brexit-related customs or regulatory challenges.

The Netherlands facility features an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer farm, safely and securely storing oncology products at below -60°C.

Mach 2’s global Pharmafreight partner network is also included as part of the acquisition. Formed in 2000, Pharmafreight is a collective of audited, approved independent freight forwarders operating under Good Distribution Practices in 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

In addition to promoting best practices for quality across the network, Pharmafreight is designed to ensure consistent quality with international partner training (including GDP training) and a global sales call programme to boost cooperation between network partners.

In addition to being Authorized Economic Operator and Good Distribution Practices certified, the Mach 2 UK office has Wholesale Distribution Authorization (WDA) granted from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Netherlands facility has API storage registration and Japanese Foreign Manufacturer Accreditation, and the facility will soon hold its own Dutch WDA and Manufacturers Import Authorization (MIA) license.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

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