Two Sides of BioLogistics --- Bio and Logistics
There is no disputing that Memphis is a center for global logistics. The international leadership of FedEx has resulted in great benefits to the area, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Memphis International Airport is the world cargo leader, handing more tonnage of cargo than any airport in the world. That, coupled with an extensive railroad system, interstate highway access, the Mississippi River and a central U.S. location gives Memphis a strategic head start on anything involving distribution.
This is the kind of business leadership that gives Memphis an outstanding foundation for Bio-Logistics. That is, smooth clearance of packages and materials; we have excellent customs operations; we have the infrastructure for the important interaction between barge, rail, road and air; and we have the warehousing, storage levels (cold, secure, etc.) to meet differing needs of differing types of products. Memphis must continue to invest in this Bio-Logistics capability, especially such things as increased use of RFID tracking, speed of turnaround and customer security.
The second form of Bio-Logistics places the emphasis on the Bio. Memphis also has a strong heritage in this area. Pediatric oncology, infectious disease research, orthopedic surgery and devices, clinical development and chemical manufacturing are all areas in which the community has demonstrated experience. Memphis Bioworks® Foundation believes this the area that has the most long-term potential for logistics growth.
We are moving swiftly into a world of personalized medicine, one in which speed, security, tracking and the biology behind the treatment are each equally important. Here technologies such as RFID, cold chain logistics, warehousing, packaging and even GPS to track critical shipments are critical components of the solution. In the Bio-Logistics leadership future, there will be airports surrounded with every stage of bioscience operations. The roads leading to the logistical airport centers will be lined with research laboratories, specialized customs brokers, temperature-regulated storage facilities, tissue banks, medical operations, processing facilities, data warehouse and genomics centers, and drug manufacturers – all involved in the creation and distribution of personalized medicines and materials that are time and distribution sensitive.
BioLogistics and Memphis’ present and future opportunities is a key area being examined by a Battelle study commissioned by Memphis Bioworks and taking place during late 2008 through much of 2009.