UK-based Alston Garrard & Co. had been distributing pharmaceutical products for the best part of a decade when, in 1999, they identified Africa as a growth market. After forming associated companies in Kenya and Uganda, they turned to their trusted partner for support with their expanding trade routes.
“Our relationship with Maltacourt developed over the years to the point where you can’t see the join,” admits Director Saul Glenie. “Our systems and day-to-day operations have been established by the two companies so it’s very much a partnership. And in all the years we’ve worked together, they’ve never let us down.”
With such a close relationship and clear expertise, Maltacourt were the natural choice to take on all of Alston’s freight shipments to new African markets – moving drugs, condoms and other products across three continents. “We entrust all of our freight forwarding and exports by air, sea and courier to Maltacourt, who consolidate our orders and ship them out,” Saul expounds.
“Their proactive approach and good communication is central to ensuring our consignments go out on time and arrive safely. And if, for example, something bound for Zambia is stuck in Johannesburg, Maltacourt are always there, on top of the issue before it’s even a problem.”
However, Alston Garrard also rely on Maltacourt to maintain another cornerstone of their operation: MHRA-licensed storage.
“We hold a full Wholesalers License for our temperature-controlled Heathrow warehouse,” explains Maltacourt’s CEO Matt Beech. “This means we can store, handle and deal with pharmacy products, prescription only medicines, traditional herbal medicinal products and General Sale List medicines to the highest industry standards.”
Heathrow also allows Maltacourt to hold theft-attractive products in a secure caged area, surrounded by the latest security systems. All of this is necessary to maintain a fast turnaround – with picking lists processed and packed within the two working days needed to comply with Alston’s ISO accreditation – in the safest possible way.
“These are delicate goods and we rely on Maltacourt to control what’s going in and out,” Saul confides. “We do a stock check at the end of every month to make sure our two systems match up, along with physical checks – it’s a complex arrangement. Having a partner you can trust to get on with it is just priceless.”