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3PL’s and insulated packaging solution providers: a win-win partnership in the cold chain logistics of healthcare products

22 March 2018

The temperature-controlled logistics market for healthcare products could reach 13 billion dollars in 2019, i.e. an increase of 40% compared to 2013. This will result in increased costs of 14% on average for pharmaceutical companies in their cold chain management costs compared to 2017.

The year 2018 confirms the trend from the supply chain of heat-sensitive pharmaceutical products to a digital supply chain allowing complete transparency. The aim is to meet, in real time, demand thanks to various technology and data analysis facilitators.

How can you implement flexible temperature-controlled logistics, without fluctuations at minimum cost?


The race is on. Companies in all sectors are already investing heavily to develop their own versions of the digital supply chain.


According to a recent study by PwC on the rise of Industry 4.0 :

-       A third of more than 2 000 people questioned declared that their companies have started to digitise their supply chains, and
-       72% believe that they will have done so within five years

The reasons for the rush to invest are easy to understand. Logistic chain professionals expect that digitisation will bring significant economic advantages: Companies with supply chains and highly digitised operations can achieve efficiency gains of 4% per year.

However, it is essential that logisticians do not forget one key element. They must deliver a temperature compliant product at the lowest cost while evaluating the risks for every logistical circuit and adapting the required solutions.

Let us not forget the main thing. Even if the trend is moving towards so-called “Universal single pack out” solutions (meaning; a single method of preparation whatever the season) with “standard” volumes, it should be noted that a device or technology isn’t for everyone! You must perform a risk assessment according to:

- type of product, value, replaceable or non-replaceable, sensitivity;

- temperature stability;

- volume;

- route;

- country (regulations, labelling, available equipment, customs, etc.);

- availability and flexibility of the solutions.

 To meet these demands for adaptability and flexibility, some insulated packaging solution providers have also digitised and invested in the development of powerful tools quickly satisfying the needs of logisticians at different levels:

-       adjustment of the configurations of solutions with specific requirements thanks to thermal simulation software (e.g.: Smart CAE) learn more

-       design of specific solutions dedicated to a client or a logistical circuit - in 15 days – (e.g.: Solidworks – Dassault system). learn more

-       calculation of TCO (Total cost ownership) thanks to analysis software including cost, technique learn more

-       security of procurement thanks to order and stock management software (e.g.: Sofrigam ordering portal) learn more

-       temperature traceability thanks to turn-key data reports – in real time - allowing immediate decisions to be made (e.g.: Sofrigam Manager + Sendum)

-       serialisation of packaging solutions for traceability and effective stock management

 To remain competitive and best respond to the needs of your clients, today you must work in close collaboration with your insulating packaging solution providers. Some providers have invested in customised digital solutions enabling their expert engineers to respond to your performance, flexibility and cost requirements in the immediate future.


Come and discover the solutions offered by Sofrigam at the Logipharma trade fair in Montreux – 10-12 April 2018.


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