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The Logistics of Shipping Biological Samples During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has thrown many standard procedures out the window, including how companies approach the logistics of shipping biological samples to China. To prevent the introduction and spread of infectious disease, Chinese Customs authorities have enhanced their efforts in mitigating biological safety risks. Companies must comply with these biosafety requirements to send and receive samples from international laboratories.

Adapting to learning curves such as these can present additional setbacks as most companies are already working in overdrive to keep projects moving forward and on schedule. With the need to get up to speed quickly, the path to success lies in finding creative solutions and leaning on each other for help.

WuXi AppTec is taking all the necessary steps to make sure your analytical testing continues without any disruptions in the supply chain. We have found a reliable way to adapt our shipping practices and offerings to reduce the learning curve for our customers.

The Requirement

The primary requirement leading to disruption is mismatched sample counts. China Customs requires that the imported sample quantity must match 100% with both the sample manifest and the invoice1. Discrepancies in the number of samples and the manifest can happen for various reasons, especially when the process involves multiple teams, personnel, locations and procedures. This mismatch at China Customs may result in the inspection of the root cause and the assessment of biosafety concerns. This examination could delay samples being delivered to their appropriate storage conditions and more. It is crucial manufacturers take the necessary precaution to avoid errors in shipping that would prompt further examination. 

A Seamless Logistical Solution

To prevent discrepancies between the inventory and the manifest of biological samples, we have implemented a logistics center at the WuXi AppTec’s New Jersey facility. Every package of samples is thoroughly inspected by hand to make sure the manifest matches the invoice. A sample specialist will perform two essential tasks:

  1. Verify the sample quantity and information against the sample manifest.
  2. Resolve any discrepancies when they occur.

Jessie Li walks you through the seamless logistical solution

This thorough review will ensure a worry-free sample import process to China. Our logistics specialist will also collaborate with our teams in China to facilitate the China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) application process. The client only needs to prepare the necessary documents for CIQ. After shipment, our team in China prepares for the sample to arrive and tracks shipments until they reach China Customs.

This process eliminates the need for different teams to be responsible for the various aspects of the import and export process, and prevents potential miscommunications and errors.

A Partner in a Changing Landscape

The addition of a logistics team at our New Jersey facility allows us to streamline the process of shipping samples to our facilities in China. While we all navigate this changing world, our goal is to be your partner and provide guidance and expertise to make sure your development program continues without disruption. If you have further questions, please let us know how we can help.

1 Regulations on the implementation of China Customs Administrative Penalties – (http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2005-05/23)

WuXi AppTec provides a portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable companies in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries worldwide to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients.

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