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Clinical Trials

Compliant logistics solutions for clinical trials

The number of clinical trials continues to increase as new treatment areas are developed and the industry shifts towards biopharma and advanced therapies. New trial designs focused on decentralized models to promote a heterogeneous participant profile, adaptive trial principles, and direct-to-patient services are driving complexity and the requirement for new supply chain capabilities and innovative solutions.

DHL is here to make sure the thousands of connections between researchers, sponsors, and patients are compliant, safe, and effortless. Our team of global experts can collaborate with you to maximize the efficiency of trial logistics from pre-clinical to commercialization. We provide logistics services for Investigational Medicinal Products (IMP) storage and distribution, visibility, packaging, and temp monitoring. DHL has the expertise and capacity to meet large volume requirements and manage new trial models to improve participant experience and increase retention.

At DHL, we are focused on critical areas of clinical trials logistics such as:

Decentralized, Hybrid and Adaptive Trial Design

Patient Experience and Centricity

Biopharma Driving Colder, Smaller and Faster Shipments

Centralized and Regionalized Distribution Models

Data Privacy and Security

Sustainable Practices

Our Capabilities in Clinical Trials Logistics

DHL Life Sciences and Healthcare offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for clinical trials designed to support all aspects of clinical research, from IMP storage and distribution to management of return flows and samples, including a special focus on the rapidly growing biopharma sector.

Clinical Supply Chain Management

With more than 20 years of healthcare logistics experience and an extensive global reach, we can consolidate an entire clinical supply chain for complete visibility and continuous efficiency gains through our global Centers of Excellence (COE), operational and customs Control Towers, and secondary packaging services. DHL’s extensive clinical trials logistics specialists focusses on quality, operational execution, effective planning, scalable capacity, and account management. 

Clinical Supply Chain Visibility

Benefit from end-to-end visibility and control of clinical trials supply chains with DHL’s customizable levels of monitoring. We use advanced real-time tracking technologies and sensors to monitor the location and condition of clinical trial shipments. Our solutions are specifically designed around time criticality while maintaining product integrity and regulatory compliance.

Direct-to-Patient Clinical Trials

DHL provides access to a comprehensive solution for direct-to-patient delivery that is fast, flexible, and time‑definite. We deliver clinical trial materials, collect samples, and manage returns in pre-conditioned packaging. This service protects confidentiality by keeping full data privacy between the patient and sponsor. Customized solutions are available. 

IMP Storage and Distribution

Maintain the integrity of your IMP through carefully calibrated and continually monitored temperature-controlled storage and distribution. DHL delivers time-sensitive, irreplaceable shipments through our global GMP depot network. We transport and store products over a wide temperature range (from +25°C to -196°C), with shipment and condition visibility available through standardized systems and interactive dashboards. 

Packaging and Temperature Monitoring

DHL offers a broad portfolio of temperature-controlled packaging and data loggers designed to protect the efficacy and integrity of your

treatments and samples while in storage or transit. All temperature ranges are covered: controlled, ambient, and frozen. Our network of Control Towers, with active shipment monitoring, enables global checking of status, location, condition, and temperature.

Bio Specimen Sample Logistics

We deliver practical solutions to ensure the safe and compliant transportation of biological samples from patients to laboratories and anywhere in between. This service includes special provisions for short lead schedules and time-critical shipments, including the movement of biopharmaceuticals such as antibodies, hormones, peptides, and proteins, as well as bio‑products such as blood, cells, and tissues. 

Regulatory Compliance

Access full proactive compliance with embedded GxP protocol for end-to-end handling of biological, medical device, and pharmaceutical products. Enabled through a culture of reporting, auditing, and continuous improvement, the processes are defined and driven by in-house regulatory experts who provide guidance at every clinical stage. 

Quality Assurance

DHL’s systemic approach to quality control ensures reliability and consistency through an in-depth quality management manual, well-documented quality policies, guidelines, and objectives. This incorporates the records and procedures necessary for effective planning, operation, and control of processes. We deploy industry-leading e-QMS systems for compliant record management, training, and auditing. 

Explore Our Case Studies

Explore a selection of our case studies for clinical trials below to see how DHL delivers outstanding logistics solutions. Review more Life Science and Healthcare case studies