Are you interested in increasing consumer satisfaction and company profits? Of course you are, but did you know that cold chain logistics can help you accomplish this? Cold supply chain will control the temperatures your product is exposed to, extending the shelf life and safety of your product. Unsure if your products can benefit from cold chain logistics? As yourself these questions:
Is your product sensitive to temperature?
When you first hear the term “cold chain” your mind might automatically wander to a product that must stay frozen at all times. That’s not always the case, however. The truth is that cold chains are useful for any product that is sensitive to temperature. Whether your product needs to stay below freezing or can’t be exposed to temperatures over 77°F, a cold chain can hugely benefit your company. Temperatures are often broken into five categories: controlled room temperature (15 to 25°C), cool (8 to 15°C), cold (2 to 8°C), frozen (~ -10°C), and cryogenic (~ -150°C).
The trouble is that your product may be transported by different agencies, all of which have different definitions for temperatures. For example, pretend that you’re transporting a shipment of vaccines. If you shipped the vaccines by air, they must follow the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) regulations, and if you shipped them by ground you must follow the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regulations. These regulations vary. That’s why shipping your product in a climate controlled environment can eliminate product waste and increase safety.
What does heat exposure do to your product?
If your product was exposed to heat, would it experience a change in texture or quality? Would your product’s safety be compromised? Exposing certain products to heat can result in human fatalities because of the potential for bacterial growth. Heat exposure can reduce other medical products’ effectiveness, failing to vaccinate the patient properly or causing patient illness. Regulations on cold supply chain are becoming more strict, ensuring that products are stored safely while in transit. Eliminating potential hazards with cold chain logistics can save your company millions of dollars in waste and legal fees.
Do you ship your products globally?
It’s easy to forget that countries we often trade with are thousands of miles away. Sure modern transportation is fast, but products often get damaged on their way from Point A to Point B. In both the food and medical industries, products are becoming more and more specialized. Fresh specialty food products have shorter shelf lives, which present challenges in getting products to their final destination as quickly as possible. If you were to ship 100 perishable widgets from Boston to China, your best bet to maintain quality is to use a temperature controlled environment. This will ensure product safety and quality by the time it arrives where it needs to be.
Are your products perishable?
Did you know that the food and pharmaceutical industries are the biggest users of cold chain logistics? That’s because these two industries sell products that are among the most volatile consumer goods available. If your products are perishable, you cannot cross your fingers and hope for the best once they leave your facility. You need to ensure that they are packaged and shipped to withstand fluctuating temperatures, broken refrigeration units, or imperfect environments. Controlling the quality of your products from the point of manufacture to the end destination ensures customer satisfaction.
Are you shipping biologics?
Biologics are products made from living cells and range from vaccines to insulin. Global organizations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization use cold chain to ship biologics and vaccinate 36% of the world’s children. Thanks to the implementation of this technology in the 1970s, it’s estimated that millions of lives have been saved.
An astounding amount of pharmaceuticals need cold chains for transportation. In fact, cold chains are crucial for 24 of the top 50 global drug products in 2013. Temperature controlled shipping is important for both the most popular drugs on the planet and for drugs in development. For pharmaceutical development, samples must be handled with extreme care during the development phase. Shockingly, medical products can be so sensitive that transportation can easily cost up to 50% of a medical study’s budget.
On the fence on whether or not you need cold chain? Contact Bar Code Direct today with any questions you may have about the service and we can help determine if this process is right for your business.