Together for a better future

Ivoclar and SkyCell are leading the way in optimizing reverse logistics processes

Schaan, Liechtenstein – 29 April 2024

As the first in their fields, dental and medical device company Ivoclar and SkyCell, a manufacturer of cutting-edge temperature-controlled hybrid containers for the pharmaceutical supply chain, are presenting their joint strategy to optimize reverse logistics processes. Their aim is to reduce CO2 emissions, waste and costs. Together with their logistics partners, they are setting a groundbreaking milestone in making transportation more efficient.

The transport of medical and pharmaceutical products is of global importance. These goods are regularly transported from their production site to various global destinations – usually under specific shipping conditions to safeguard the temperature-sensitive and sometimes life-saving medicines. Due to time constraints, transport is carried out by air freight and is often required only in one direction from the manufacturing site to the target destination. As a result, it is not uncommon in the logistics industry for transport containers to be returned empty to their point of origin. This also applies to the air freight route from the USA to Switzerland. The Liechtenstein-based family business Ivoclar with 56 subsidiaries and branch offices worldwide, and SkyCell, a provider of hybrid containers and technological solutions, are now addressing this issue. By implementing their successful strategy, they are marking a turning point in the reverse logistics of air freight flows and other transportation methods.

Optimized reverse logistics

Launched as a pilot project in December 2023, the project was officially initiated in February 2024 with the involvement of further globally operating transport and logistics providers. SkyCell ships its hybrid containers with medical products from various pharmaceutical manufacturers to the USA. So far, Ivoclar has shipped its products from its manufacturing site in Somerset (USA), to places including Zurich (Europe), due to their global necessity. The two companies have now joined forces to optimize their reverse logistics: To avoid returning empty air freight containers to Europe in the future, SkyCell hybrid containers will now be filled with Ivoclar pallets. This is made possible by our transport and logistics partner DSV Air & Sea, who provides the container returns in its warehouse. "Tracking emissions from reverse logistics poses a significant challenge for most pharmaceutical companies. By integrating Ivoclar pallets into our hybrid containers, we optimize freight efficiency, leading to reduced CO₂ emissions and bringing us closer to our goal of climate neutrality," explains Paulo Baumgartner, Head of Operations Supplier & Procurement at SkyCell. The cargo arriving in Zurich is handled and delivered to its final destination throughout Europe, utilizing the warehouse facilities of Swiss company Fischer Road Cargo, which specializes in logistics solutions for road transportation in the region. The logistics service provider also benefits from this concept thanks to the more efficient utilization of its trucks.

Together for a better future

With this innovative concept for success, the companies not only gain economic advantages, but also enhance their sustainability. With an annual CO2 saving of around 350 tons on this route, Ivoclar and SkyCell are moving closer to their goal of becoming climate neutral. Ivoclar is thus reducing one of its main sources of CO2 emissions – the transportation of goods – and once again demonstrates its commitment to sustainable products and solutions for the dental industry with this process optimization. SkyCell also draws a direct link to sustainability, one of its core values, pioneering a new standard for sustainable innovation within the pharma industry.

Innovation within the existing framework

"Innovation doesn't always mean reinventing the wheel. Our goal is to optimize value creation within the supply chain by developing new approaches within the existing framework. We achieve this by utilizing existing resources in a collaborative manner at no additional costs and by finding synergies," says Olivier Hett, Global Transport Manager at Ivoclar. SkyCell aims to take a leading role with this approach, particularly encouraging transportation companies to question established practices and create room for innovative ideas.

Photo credit: DSV Air & Sea

About the Ivoclar Group
The Ivoclar Group, headquartered in Schaan, Liechtenstein, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of integrated solutions for high-quality dental applications. For over a century, the company has been shaping the dental industry, enabling people to achieve the best oral health and enjoy a beautiful smile. The company's success is based on a comprehensive portfolio of products, systems and services, strong research and development capabilities and a clear commitment to training and further education. The group of companies, which sells its products to around 130 countries, has 56 subsidiaries and branch offices and employs roughly 3,600 people worldwide. More information about the Ivoclar Group is available at