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Helping the scientific community to succeed by providing tailored solutions

Customer: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
Location: Saudi Arabia
Challenge: To ensure the reliable transportation of biological shipments
Solution: Consistent deliverability and best-in-class performance for KAUST's shipments

Life science shipments contain high-value active ingredients, meaning that short shelf life and strict temperature requirements present daily challenges for logistics companies.

Within the global supply chains, temperature-controlled shipments are handled multiple times across borders, in airports and transport vehicles. In order to ensure the products arrive on time and within the temperature range at the destination, it is essential to ensure chain of identity and visibility of the shipment, as well as complying with customs regulations and guidelines.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a private research university located in Saudi Arabia. In the 2018 Nature Index Rising Stars, the University ranked 9th in the Global Top 10 Institutions in Physical Sciences and 30th in the Global Top 200 Academic Institutions, respectively.


A spokesperson at KAUST comments “importing and exporting biological shipments in general can be a difficult process. Customs usually require import permits and, due to the administrative complications in securing these, some couriers do not want to manage the shipments. Biocair’s bespoke solutions are tailored to our needs, and their technical experts are able to advise us on all aspects of import/export regulations, ensuring that any potential disruptions in the supply chain are identified, discussed and remedied as soon as possible.”

Biocair had to take into account the demanding environmental conditions in Saudi Arabia as the extremely high temperatures required the company to develop action plans so that the shipments were not affected by the external conditions.

KAUST's offices by the lakeside in Thuwal
Part of the KAUST campus in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Using non-specialised freight forwarders

KAUST’s network of research centres oversees many temperature sensitive shipments, each with their own varying external environmental conditions, including airplanes, airports and depots.

Prior to working with Biocair, KAUST contracted the services of several non-specialised freight forwarders for their global life science shipments. However, it soon became clear that the freight forwarders were not capable of reliably, and securely, managing KAUST’s complex cold chain operations.

With the risk of destroying the product before it has arrived at its destination because of inadequate temperature control, or delays at custom points due to incomplete paperwork, KAUST decided to start looking at specialised bioscience couriers.

The need for bespoke, pharmaceutical logistics solutions

After carrying out an internal review of potential suppliers, focusing on expertise in the market and ability to customise solutions, Biocair was highlighted as the preferred partner. Due to Biocair’s highly personalised approach to its solutions and the company’s ability to provide pre-conditioned and validated temperature controlled packaging for all temperature ranges, KAUST selected Biocair to manage their life science shipments.

Bill Gates is shown scientific samples and research by KAUST's Senior Management in a laboratory
Bill Gates, the principal founder of Microsoft, visiting KAUST. Images kindly provided by KAUST


By employing scientists in front line logistics positions, Biocair provides the link between logistics and pharmaceutical research with ease, giving KAUST the peace of mind to focus on their own business activities. Biocair’s service offering to KAUST is the most comprehensive on the market, providing a true end to end solution:

  • Biocair ensures that all shipments meet the regulatory requirements, including dangerous goods certificates and customs tariff code assignment, ensuring KAUST’s shipments are moved safely and compliantly across the globe.
  • End-to-end tracking, including temperature monitoring, right through until the last mile is provided to KAUST.
  • Biocair provides all the packaging for KAUST’s shipments and prepares the shipments on-site, ensuring that the optimum solution for KAUST’s required temperature ranges is secured.

Attention to detail

Speaking about the relationship with Biocair, KAUST comments that the “main advantage is Biocair’s attention to details and focus on extreme care to improve the quality of service. Their solutions are flexible and reliable, as well as being commercially viable for us”.

KAUST has trusted Biocair on a variety of different projects over recent years, with the two companies working together to ensure all biological shipments are shipped correctly, fulfilling any time, temperature, packaging or regulatory requirements.

Do you have a similar application? Contact your local Biocair office and speak to one of Biocair's experts.