Cold Chain Shipping: Protecting Temperature Sensitive Products
If you are involved in supervising cold chain shipments, you can skip the following paragraphs, as you know this well.
The term “cold chain” or “cold chain management” refers to controlled temperature transportation of pharmaceutical products, biologicals, and active ingredients. It also applies to diagnostics, research and investigational materials that require temperature control.
Cold chain shipments must be protected against transportation hazards such as product transfers, extreme temperatures, mishandling and delays. Comprehensive measures must be taken to ensure adequate shipment protection, and that monitoring systems are capturing environments, sufficient to achieve proper shipment validation and regulatory compliance.
What you may not know however, is that battery operated GPS trackers now have the ability to capture temperature and humidity, offering a primary or secondary alternative to traditional temperature monitoring solutions.
Unlike traditional recorders and dataloggers used to capture and log cold chain history, wireless GPS trackers have the ability to transmit information back to your logistics management center and quality control systems, ensuring real time visibility to the condition of your cold chain products. The trackers can be covertly enclosed within the shipment itself, ensuring accurate temperature measurement across all segments of the transportation route, including transfers and interim storage stopovers.
Using GPS based wireless trackers offers additional strategic advantages. Sensor enabled GPS trackers allow you to correlate environmental monitoring with location, providing you with a much more insightful log of cold chain compliance. Vibration sensors enable shock and vibration detection, a potential sign of mishandling, and light sensors can be used to detect unauthorized shipment tampering.
When you combine the ability to monitor location, temperature, humidity, vibration and light detection you have the ability to fully document regulatory compliance, reduce shipment risk and improve loss prevention. In the case of theft or shipment hijacking, the covertly enclosed GPS trackers can aide loss prevention professionals and law enforcement with a speedy recovery. Unlike truck or trailer tracking systems, GPS trackers embedded randomly in the shipment content makes it very difficult to thieves to detect and disable, even if loads are offloaded from the original trailer.
Cold chain shipment data must be managed and monitored for events that might indicate a weakness in the cold chain shipment process. Often quality management systems are used for this analysis. GPSit’s TrackFusion platform provides a comprehensive web services API enabling data extraction for secondary analysis. Real-time alerts generated by TrackFusion enable “first responders” to troubleshoot shipments in process. The combination is a powerful approach to cold chain shipment compliance and validation requirements.
GPSit would welcome the opportunity to work with you to explore your needs and determine the optimal approach to providing primary or secondary monitoring of your cold chain shipments.