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Why is cold chain logistics important to the healthcare industry

Business · 3 Mins Read

Why is cold chain logistics important to the healthcare industry

The healthcare sector relies heavily on temperature-controlled logistics to transport pharmaceutical products, bio-products, and equipment. Ineffective cold logistics measures will cost time and resources. DHL Express unpacks its cold chain transport system  and outlines how it can help healthcare companies excel in this area. 

Cold chain logistics describes the temperature-controlled transport of goods along the supply chain. These goods often include pharmaceuticals, equipment, and temperature sensitive foods. Cold chain logistics doesn’t only commence when the product is loaded onto the vehicle; it involves every step of the transportation journey, from initial handling to last-step delivery. 

The healthcare industry relies heavily on cold chain logistics for the distribution of bio-pharmaceutical goods across borders, states, and cities. These goods, as well as specialty equipment, can be life saving. Without effective cold storage transportation, the goods can become unusable. This has real financial consequences for healthcare companies, as well as compromising a provider's ability to care for their patients. 

The cold chain logistics transportation process

Many pharmaceutical companies develop products which require temperature-controlled storage and distribution. Each product comes with a temperature range that must be followed throughout the journey. The two broad categories of temperature control transportation are frozen (-15°C or below) and chilled (2°C to +8°C). Some products will require more specific environments for transport. If these environmental conditions are not met, the efficacy of the product may be diminished. 

This is increasingly relevant as companies direct their research towards therapies that are derived from human cells. As these enter the market, it is inevitable that the demand for cold chain pharmaceutical logistics will increase. 

To account for this demand, and as a part of the logistics 4.0 movement, transport providers have innovated technologies to facilitate reliable, temperature-controlled transport of pharmaceutical products. Products shipped by sea often employ refrigerated (reefer) containers that maintain a certain temperature through chilled airflow. When shipping pharmaceuticals by air, cool containers are the technology of choice. These containers come in passive and active formats. The passive version prevents temperature fluctuations through insulation, gel packs, ice, or liquid nitrogen. The active version uses monitors and sensors that automatically control the temperature. 

How DHL Medical Express can meet the healthcare industry’s cold logistics needs

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To accommodate for the growing cold logistics demand, DHL Express has an arm devoted to the needs of healthcare and related sectors concerning cold chain pharmaceutical logistics. DHL Medical Express provides reliable, temperature controlled shipping solutions around the world. You can leverage our ambient (room temperature), chilled (2°C to 8°C), frozen (-80°C to -20°C), and temperature controlled (15°C to 25°C) shipping solutions to partners in the healthcare industry. 

Features of DHL Medical Express

Key features of DHL Medical Express include:

  • Priority handling

  • Earliest possible delivery

  • Dedicated customer service

  • Customised e-booking tool

The optional enhanced features include:

  • Dry ice and pre-conditioning

  • Dangerous goods compliance

  • Customs expertise

  • Temperature controlled solutions

Temperature-controlled cargo is shipped with our specially-designed temperature controlled packaging which uses preconditioned panels to control temperatures. Insulated packaging is also available to DHL Medical Express logistics partners. 

DHL’s smarter cold supply chain

As the healthcare industry continues to innovate and develop, a strong cold supply chain is essential. DHL’s smarter cold supply chain uses a four-fold network to ensure partners receive their cargo in an optimal timeframe and in the right conditions. The specialised and compliant network, globally consistent processes, risk appropriate packaging, and total cost strategy work together to optimise healthcare and pharmaceutical logistics.

Partner with DHL Express for your cold chain logistics needs

The healthcare industry is growing and innovating. Make sure your business is equipped to transport bio-materials and pharmaceuticals by partnering with DHL Express. Our DHL Medical Express arm is designed to accommodate a range of industry specific needs and account for time-sensitive deliveries. When you choose us, you are teaming up with a global client base that relies on DHL Express as their trusted cold chain courier. Create a business account today and find out how our delivery services can help you stay ahead of the logistics curve.

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