Supply chain visibility and control is important for all shippers—but for cold chain shippers, in particular, it can be the difference between life and death. Whether they’re moving perishable foods like meat and seafood or life-saving medicine and vaccines, the cost of low visibility and control can be incredibly high.
The biopharma industry alone loses more than $34 billion each year as a result of temperature-control failures across the supply chain. And the cost of lost products, wasted logistics, and replacement goods are just the beginning. If spoilage or contamination goes unnoticed, consumers and patients’ health is put on the line—opening shippers and their clients up to legal action, reputational damage, and hefty fines.
To minimize risk and reduce waste, it’s not enough for shippers in the live sciences, pharmaceutical, and food industries to merely track the movements of goods: they need to have total visibility into the status of goods every step of the way. Even a one-degree fluctuation in temperature, momentary exposure to humidity, or short delay can ruin a palette. This makes it essential for shippers to enhance control and achieve real-time visibility that allows them to spot and correct most problems before they happen—and, when that’s not possible, take action to prevent disaster.
Taking control with technology
While challenges can still crop up, modern technology has made it much easier for shippers to build a carefully controlled cold chain shipping process that minimizes problems.
This starts with utilizing a powerful transportation management system (TMS) to coordinate perishable and temperature-sensitive shipments. Using a TMS, shippers can easily identify carriers with the capabilities they need to move their goods, from temperature-controlled trucks to additional safety features—and ensure that those carriers have a strong track record of moving similar products safely and effectively.
A TMS also helps in other ways, like allowing shippers to plan the mode and route least likely to result in delays that could lead to product spoilage. And since a robust TMS supports the seamless, real-time flow of essential documentation, the potential for lengthy customs issues is reduced.
Gaining end-to-end visibility
Of course, good preparation can only take you so far. Even the best-laid plans can be derailed by unforeseen issues and unavoidable disasters, making end-to-end visibility in the cold chain a must-have for conscientious shippers.
By combining the in-transit tracking data provided through their TMS with data from inside the shipping container, like temperature and atmospheric data, and by making use of automatic alerts, shippers can gain a complete view of their goods from the moment they leave the warehouse to the moment they arrive at the customer’s loading dock. That way, if something does go wrong, shippers can identify the issue immediately, allowing them to alert the end user about the compromised shipment and make alternate arrangements. In doing so, they can maintain the relationship (if not the product)—and avoid potentially deadly consequences.
Build a better cold chain shipping process
At CTSI-Global, we understand the challenges of cold chain shipping because we work with some of the biggest life sciences and pharmaceutical companies in the industry. We’re committed to helping our clients improve visibility and control—and reduce risk.
Our clients have access to our 20,020-strong network of trusted carriers, including major cold chain operators. And thanks to our proprietary TMS, planning and executing even the most complex cold chain shipments is made simple.
Partner with the pros. Contact CTSI-Global today.