The future of pharma logistics: Why real-time location monitoring must become standard
By Simon Brinckmann
In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, customers demand reliable and efficient service, and businesses are constantly searching for innovative ways to streamline their operations and stay ahead of the curve. The specialty pharma logistics industry is no exception, and with the rise of biopharmaceuticals and personalized medicines, the need for secure, reliable, and efficient supply chains is more critical than ever.
The sector has made some great gains in recent years. However, companies must remain proactive in embracing new technologies and best practices to create better patient experiences and maintain their competitive edge while providing the best possible customer service standards. Medicines must reach patients wherever they are, the stakes are high.
High-fidelity data key to preventing excursions across the pharmaceutical cold chain
Advances in technology continue to unlock new ways to manage and monitor the shipment of pharmaceutical products, and the data we get from the tech plays a crucial role in ensuring shipments get to the right people, right place, and at the right time.
Real-time monitoring is the ability to track pharmaceutical products, raw materials, and other related items in real time as they move through the supply chain. This includes monitoring their location, temperature, shock, and other key parameters to ensure that they are transported and stored under conditions that maintain their quality and safety. It generates invaluable data that empowers operations teams to respond quickly to deviations. Likewise, teams can proactively monitor for any potential issues and head them off early. This extra visibility reduces the risk of delays, losses, or damage to medicines. In an industry where time and quality are critical, real-time monitoring data has become a critical component of a successful logistics operation.
Preventing excursions in the pharma cold chain
To intervene when exceptions occur, logistics companies must have the ability to do so. Data on its own does not solve any problems. Logistics companies with large, geographically spread infrastructure — such as people and facilities — and access to a wide range of delivery options will be best placed to act on real-time data insights, and will have the best chance of preventing shipment failures.
Overcoming the technical hurdles of real-time monitoring
The complexities of tracking shipments across multiple modes of transportation, in different locations and under varying conditions, can make real-time monitoring a challenging task.
The first step in overcoming the technical hurdles of real-time monitoring is to ensure that the technology is robust and reliable. This means that the solution must be able to operate effectively in a variety of environments and under a wide range of conditions. For example, devices must be able to withstand fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and pressure, and must be able to maintain a stable and reliable connection to the monitoring system, irrespective of location.
In addition to the reliability of the monitoring technology itself, companies must also consider the logistical challenges of installing, maintaining, and updating the monitoring devices. This may require significant resources, such as personnel, facilities, and equipment, to ensure that the monitoring system is always up to date and functioning effectively.
Despite these technical challenges, the benefits of real-time monitoring are clear. By providing real-time insights into the location and condition of shipments, businesses can proactively intervene in the event of any issues, reducing the risk of delays or damage to the shipment and ensuring that patients receive the quality medicines they need. This must become the new norm.
Real-time location monitoring as standard: Driving the logistics industry forward
At World Courier we are deploying a real-time location monitoring (RTLM) solution on all of our multi-use packages, enabling increased visibility into the precise location of shipments in transit globally. The technology, which will transmit data to operations teams across World Courier’s global network, will enhance our ability to proactively monitor shipments, anticipate potential risks and intervene, if needed, to ensure the secure and timely distribution of products. By adding this technology to our packaging, we are creating a new standard for tracking in the pharmaceutical logistics industry.
"The global pharmaceutical market continues to experience tremendous growth and an increasing number of products being developed today, including cell and gene therapies, require cold chain logistics. Through continued investments in infrastructure and innovative solutions, we’re able to meet our customers’ evolving needs and expectations and deliver the specialized logistics support needed to ensure these products can reach the patients who need them”
Nick Porter, President of World Courier
The technology will be added to packaging solutions, including our innovative passive pallet solution Cocoon, in a phased rollout through August.
This is just the next step of our journey to drive data-based innovation and provide industry-leading service to our customers, and ensure healthier futures for patients.
We move innovation forward with an unmatched level of care.
Expect logistics as precise as your science.
Take the first step towards revolutionizing your pharma logistics operations with World Courier. To learn more about our real-time location monitoring and other innovative solutions, contact your Account Manager or start a conversation today.