Press Book

EXPRESS International
July-August 1999

A new medical and pharmaceutical service is being launched by Odyssey International Courier,
aimed at the likes of biotech firms, universities, pharmaceutical companies, clinical research
organisations, hospitals and chemical companies.
The Brussels, Belgium, firm is launching  Odyssey Carat, which will start in September 1999.
The types of shipments Carat will be handling are blood samples, organs  for  transplant ,
tissue samples, and  chemical/pharmaceutical products.  It will offer a  same-day  domestic  service, same-day  delivery  in  Europe, and  next-day  delivery  to "almost any other destination".

Director J.M.Christiaens said: "The value of such shipments is very high and the handling is very specialised. There are a lot of process to know and follow. The shipment may be small value itself, but it  may be  four years  work  for  someone, we  must be successful every time." J.M.Christiaens felt specialisation was the way forward for companies like his. "We can't track and trace on internet for the moment, etc. so we must find business where the integrators are  not. This particular niche is one that the integrators can't  handle for the moment."

 

EXPRESS International
July-August 1999
Odyssey International Courier is another Brussels company which does not yet have  high-tech tracking, but it is not convinced of the need. Director J.M.Christiaens says: "We are working on track and trace on the internet. We will  have it - but when, I don't know. We have good follow ups by phone."
The tried and tested system used by Odyssey is to cross-check the proof of deliveriy with the agent, with consignees for special shipments, check the packaging is all right-in fact, checking at every stage of the package's journey. This is crucial as Odyssey is increasingly moving into biomedical, biopharmaceutical and biochemical transportation.
Its latest product launch is Odyssey Carat, a service that will start officially in September. Carat is aimed at the likes of biotech firms, universities, pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organisations, hospitals and chemical companies. "Also", he says, "we can't track and trace on internet for the moment, etc. so we must find business where the integrators are  not. This particular niche is one that the integrators can't  handle for the moment."
"Normal couriers will not disappear, but they will decrease. I'm not pessimistic. We have a future if we have a niche others don't have."

Odyssey International has a hand-delivery service for the financial community in Brussels and Luxemburg, and it has "a little bit of logistics". Two customers use this service at the moment. Both need small spare parts delivered in a hurry.
Odyssey was started nine years ago as a wholesaler for OK and US companies.
Volumes increased fast. "but business is changing, We have enough traffic at the moment,
but ..." JM Christiaens leaves the sentence unfinished.
With the launch of the Carat specialist service, JM Christiaens says that in one way he is returning to where he began. "When I started in this business in 1977, every envelope was a challenge. Now it is very easy." With Carat, however, the potential problems are many-for example,  making sure that dry-ice is available at all points on the journey in case it is needed to top up the package. "So, we are going back 20 years as every shipment will be a challenge.

 

IFW Express - Medical
March/April 2000

Transporting material which includes infectious agents
is not without its difficulties.
Customs clearance and strict government controls in
both country of origin and receipt have to be dealt with,
as well as interest from police authorities.
"Its like starting the courier industry again." says J.M.Christiaens, ops manager for Belgium-based express operator Odyssey International.
Odyssey Carat (div. of Odyssey International) transports blood samples, viruses, bone marrow, etc ...
However, the majority of its medical business is based on servicing clinical trials. "The importance of each consignment means every one is a challenge" adds Mr. Christiaens.

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