The pandemic not only leads to global markets being flooded with counterfeit medical products. Because suppliers fail, counterfeit brands and products are also penetrating the supply chains of original manufacturers in other segments and replacing the missing original products. It is now important for brand owners to monitor and protect their supply chains.
Counterfeiters often break into the supply chains via intermediate storage facilities. There they exchange complete original deliveries for counterfeit products, repackage individual shipments or manipulate labels and accompanying documents. Particularly critical are unknown carriers and additional loads, which are increasingly used in the course of Covid-19. Also risky are encounter transports in which means of transport approach each other and exchange parts of the freight in the warehouse, as well as free storage without fixed storage space allocation in goods distribution centres, the outsourcing of warehouse logistics services and uncontrolled picking.
Spectacular was the case of an established and well-known brand, which was almost completely taken over by Chinese counterfeiters in less than three years. Although the market share of the successful brand (originals plus counterfeits) in Beijing fell only slightly during this period, the number of shipments of original goods to Beijing declined steadily. After three years, the brand still had a 30% market share in its category in Beijing, but the sale of authentic products accounted for only 5% of total sales volume. The pirates had boarded the ship.