Shipping Health: Ensuring Wellness with Every Delivery

customer holding his healthcare product

By Bill Sweeney, July 9, 2024

Healthcare Delivery is Changing

The delivery of healthcare is undergoing significant transformations, which has disrupted traditional industry supply chains.  

Consumers access care in many new ways, from visiting retail health clinics for non-emergency care to virtual appointments with their doctors. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for more digital and low-touch healthcare products and services. 

As consumers adopt healthcare experiences that suit their lifestyles and wallets, they also have embraced online access to a wide range of healthcare products, from over-the-counter medicines to contact lenses and medical devices. By the numbers, global healthcare eCommerce is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 18.5% this year, to $434.9 billion.1

Timely Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Shipping is Critical

Healthcare products often support people in managing health conditions or achieving wellness goals, making prompt delivery essential for maintaining their health regimens. Delays in shipping can disrupt treatment plans, causing inconvenience and potentially impacting health outcomes.  

Additionally, efficient healthcare shipping ensures that consumers receive their required supplies promptly, fostering trust and satisfaction with the brand. This reliability is especially crucial in healthcare, where products can significantly influence therapeutic results.  

Ensuring timely DTC healthcare shipping is integral to promoting health, maintaining customer loyalty and upholding industry standards. 

Best Practices to Take Control of DTC Healthcare Shipping

Given the unique challenges in DTC shipping of healthcare products, here are four best practices to ensure the safe and timely delivery of products.

  1. Packaging: Use sturdy and secure packaging to protect products from damage during transit. Select packaging materials that provide adequate cushioning, shock absorption and protection against moisture, light and other environmental factors.  
  2. Security: Implement security measures to protect products from theft, tampering and counterfeiting during transit. Work with carriers with secure facilities and tracking systems to maintain product integrity and traceability throughout the shipping process. 
  3. Shipping carrier selection: Do not trust your shipments to just any transportation provider. Select shipping carriers capable of meeting your specific requirements. Consider those with experience in handling healthcare shipments that can prioritize timely delivery to meet the needs of consumers 
  4. Accurate reporting: Work with your carrier on comprehensive reporting to effectively manage delivery performance and exceptions; reliability is crucial. Ensure deliveries meet contract requirements and shipping services are optimized for timeliness and cost.  

Secure healthcare supply chains are a cornerstone of resilient health systems. Since the pandemic, they have evolved to be better protected from unexpected events, including the next health crisis or natural disaster. Domestic production has increased so that supply chains are less reliant on imports from overseas. Manufacturers have diversified their suppliers and have adopted digital technologies to become more agile, reduce costs and increase flexibility.  

The growing demand for DTC healthcare shipping is driving improvements in warehouse logistics, inventory management, quality control and shipping. By following best practices, healthcare shippers can minimize risks, ensure compliance and optimize the shipping process to deliver products safely, efficiently and reliably. 

If you find this article helpful, check out more of our blog content. You can learn about topics such as social media commerce, why packaging decisions matter to your business and how to leverage business intelligence in shipping.

OSM Worldwide can help your healthcare DTC shipping strategy succeed. Contact us to discuss your shipping needs and request a quote.

About the Author 

Bill Sweeney, director of customer experience at OSM Worldwide, delivers best-in-class products and services to clients. With more than 30 years in the logistics industry, Bill has held roles in operations, sales, quality assurance, business development and customer experience. Prior to his logistics career, Bill served 13 years in the U.S. Armed Forces.