It is no secret that the COVID-19 outbreak back in 2020 has disrupted the cold chain shipment management. The life sciences sector is cognizant of the pandemic’s impact on supply chain disruptions – from freight prices increases, cargo space limitations, and transportation routes challenges. Working to find cold chain solutions as quickly as possible, supply chain managers are adjusting, and technology is progressing, particularly in the case of customised and other developing medicines.
With global supply chains becoming increasingly uncertain, it is more crucial than ever to find reliable suppliers and partners to aid in ensuring a seamless shipment journey. Though it might be challenging to embark on this journey of whom to trust for your cold chain shipment needs, the ever-evolving biopharma landscape should no longer be a factor that hinders you from managing your cold chain logistics effectively. Here are 4 crucial factors to consider for your cold chain shipment and management;
When it comes to temperature-sensitive products, the appropriate temperature-controlled packaging system needed to keep the shipment at the right temperature remains a critical aspect of the entire supply chain process. The selected packaging system must be able to keep your products at the appropriate temperature during the transportation process, from shipment pick up, customs clearance, to delivery. Underlying considerations should include the overall transit time, size of the shipment content and seasonality.
Commonly used cooling technologies include Dry ice, Phase Change Materials (PCMs), gel packs and liquid nitrogen. The type of temperature requirement depends on the commodity to be shipped. Some pharmaceuticals require dry ice temperature (-70 degC) or refrigerated at +2 to +8 degC temperatures. Other biological cargo like organs and tissues for Cell and Gene therapy may require shipment at liquid nitrogen temperature (-180 degC).
Globalisation has seemingly made the world smaller, but the physical separation between places remains a fundamental reality. Logistics partners should set solutions to move cold chain products from one point to another, whether by road, rail, air, or sea while ensuring they remain at stable temperatures and humidity levels. Examples of cold chain transportation systems include both Active and Passive systems, refrigerated trucks, and reefer units. Properly set up, these systems will be equipped with the appropriate insulated systems to maintain specified product temperatures through the shipment journey.
With recent advancements in technologies, real-time monitoring for temperature-controlled logistics is becoming a norm. Depending on the logistics partner, tracking often involves using the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sensor devices and software such as GPS monitors that locate specific items in the supply chain and prevent loss. Tracking technologies can send real-time alerts once certain set parameters are exceeded, providing ample reaction time to involved stack holders.
There are set standards and requirements when it comes to transportation for Biologics, Pharmaceuticals and Live Animals. These may be imposed by one or a combination of various institutions, including both the origin and destination country. It is hence crucial to keep up with customs paperwork and clearance documentations to prevent delays, setbacks, and additional expenses. One should note that there are different documents when shipping internationally as opposed to domestically.
Due to the advent of the pandemic, we are now seeing an increase in the importance of cold chain logistics services. It is essential to find a trustworthy and reliable partner with the proper systems knowledge and equipment that will not compromise product quality and ensure on-time delivery.
At Global Cold Chain Solutions, we pride ourselves on handling a wide range of life sciences, healthcare and pharmaceutical shipments. As a trusted partner that ensures compliance with existing regulations and standards, rest assured when entrusting your shipment to us. Contact our team today to find out more.