Get Up To Speed on the Top Priorities for Fast Cold Chain Logistics

Posted by James Colson - General Manager, Healthcare on 03-Jan-2017 12:00:00
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Yusen balances supply and demand with robust warehousing and distribution management

For the healthcare industry, the priority is always to get your high value, highly sensitive products delivered in the right condition. That means a temperature controlled supply chain is a must, with up-to-date technology in warehousing and transit to secure physical stability. However, as a business you also need to make sure that you’re meeting demand on time, every time.

Certainly, the world of global health pharmaceutical delivery (GHPD) has become increasingly more complex as disease management grows in sophistication and treatment plans are individualised. So, a trusted 3PL partner will give you robust cold chain logistics to make sure that your product is always quick off the mark.

An Operations Research for Healthcare report found that

critical faults with order management and can double lead times,

with a complex and delayed supply chain.


Your supply chain needs synergy if it’s going to run smoothly end-to-end. For that you’ll need organised warehouse and inventory management, a strong delivery network, and an integrated supply chain. That way, these top three priorities will ensure fast, efficient cold chain logistics.  


  1. Agility to balance supply and demand

Your supply chain is only effective when it’s properly coordinated with warehousing and distribution practices built on a clear understanding of inventory and demand. Your 3PL partner should have rigorous and systematic planning in place to have clear visualisation of inventory at all times. For good inventory management, you’ll also need strong demand information and shipment visibility to make sure that there is enough product at hand to meet your customers’ needs.

 The sensitive nature of pharmaceutical products can also lead to further complexities for warehouse management. Expiration is a critical issue for healthcare companies, with mismanagement of stock leading to huge losses.

For example, one interviewee in Privett and Gonsalvez’s study reported that they had lost $76,000 (USD) with one batch of paediatric HIV combination drugs when their 3PL provider’s stock-taking didn’t meet the mark.

 Make sure your 3PL partner has robust warehouse management with frequent and thorough training for employees on First-Expired-First-Out (FEFO) inventory pull policies. They’ll offer you customised warehousing solutions and strategically sited distribution centres to boost your productivity and increase flexibility.


  1. Flexibility to distribute across a pan-European network

A strategic network of specialist pharmaceutical hubs can help streamline your supply chain for faster cold chain logistics. If you’re looking for a trusted 3PL partner for your pharmaceutical products, then they’ll have the experience and systems already in place to support you.

That way, delivery routes will be tried and tested with action plans in place to react to potential problems for quicker results.

A European Superhighway can provide you with cross-border, temperature controlled coverage with robust routes in place to effectively manage distribution. There are opportunities for cost-efficiencies too, with a means for multi-client consolidation, cross-docking and shared-user transport where acceptable.


  1. Visibility to act and react to issues for better control

 We’ve found from experience that short lead times are heavily pressurised when dealing with sensitive pharmaceuticals, especially when at the end of an end-to-end chain there’s a patient in great need. So, you need a smart system in place to ensure that lead times aren’t extended as problems arise.

Quite often GHPD can face the unknown with a lack of information on delays and order quantities before the physical receipt of shipment. However, with inventory visualisation and a leading control tower management solution you can make significant advances in shipment visibility to reduce variability and increase reliability.

With a control tower and GPS tracking, you gain central coordination of your supply chain with the ability to act fast to live data.

You can manage global air and sea freight movements alongside sight of customs and financial statistics: connecting your drivers, back-office workers, and management in such a way that you can shorten your lead times for faster delivery.


Find a 3PL partner who can streamline your supply chain management to increase efficiencies – giving your high value, highly sensitive products the fastest cold chain logistics.



Topics: Pharmaceutical Industry, Short Lead Times, GHPD, Control Tower Management, Warehousing and Distribution, European Superhighway, Integrated Supply Chain, Cold Chain Logistics, Temperature Controlled Supply Chain, GPS Tracking, Inventory Management, Shipment Visibility

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