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May 15, 2023

What is cold chain logistics?

The cold chain brings on two major logistical challenges. The first is the requirement for maximizing warehouse area utilization. The second challenge is to manage the flow and storage of cargo in accordance with prevailing requirements and regulations to ensure the complete safety and immutability of the products handled. In this context, it is worth exploring the meaning of the term cold chain. What is a cold chain in medical terms? What is cold chain logistics? Please read the article if you’re interested in learning the answers.

What is cold chain logistics? Basic information and definition

A cold chain is a logistics system that involves transporting, storing, and distributing food products, pharmaceuticals, and other materials that require maintaining low temperatures. The cold chain controls temperature and humidity during transport and storage to prevent spoilage and preserve product quality and consumer safety. The system comprises various components, such as specialized transport vehicles, refrigerated warehouses, refrigeration equipment, and temperature monitoring tools.

hybrid containers used in cold chain logistics are placed in a plane

What is a cold chain in medical terms?

In medical terms, a cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain that transports and stores vaccines, medicines, and other temperature-sensitive medical products. The cold chain is critical for maintaining the efficacy and safety of these products, as they can be rendered ineffective or even harmful if exposed to temperatures outside their recommended range.

The cold chain typically includes a network of refrigerated storage facilities, temperature-controlled transport vehicles, and monitoring devices that maintain the required temperature range throughout the supply chain. In addition to ensuring the quality and safety of medical products, the cold chain also plays a critical role in global health by enabling the distribution of vaccines and medicines to remote and underserved areas.

The cold chain of medical products – how to improve the quality of logistics services?

Improving the quality of logistics services for the cold chain of medical products can help ensure the safety and effectiveness of such products, as well as reduce waste and costs associated with medical spoilage. To be able to take cold chain logistics services to a new level and ensure the highest possible level of protection and proper conditions for transported medicines, it is necessary to:

Define precise logistics protocols and procedures

Establishing clear guidelines for handling, storing, and transporting medical products is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the cold chain. These protocols should be communicated to all stakeholders, including manufacturers, distributors, and logistics providers.

Using specialized equipment in the cold chain

Specialized equipment, such as cold rooms, trucks, and warehouses, can help maintain the required temperature range for medical products. However, this equipment should be regularly maintained and calibrated to ensure optimal performance.

An example is the 1500X hybrid containers from SkyCell, which guarantee protection from extreme heat or cold in a temperature range of +70ºC to -40ºC. In addition, with a long independent operating time of 270 hours, SkyCell containers guarantee internal temperature stability, creating an ideal environment for medical devices. In addition, these containers used in cold chains are equipped with shock-absorbing feet that protect sensitive medicines in glass vials from small micro-cracks.

Temperature monitoring

Continuous temperature monitoring is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medical products. With 1500X containers from SkyCell, there is no need for internal monitoring during transport, which decisively reduces the risk of human error.

Staff training

Adequate staff training is critical to maintaining the cold chain. Therefore, all personnel handling, storing, and transporting medical products should receive training in proper cold chain maintenance procedures and protocols.

Implement quality control measures

Quality control measures, such as regular audits and inspections, can help ensure proper cold chain maintenance. These measures should be documented and communicated to all stakeholders. Real-time transport visibility is also critical. SkyCell’s SECURE technology combines both – hardware and software to provide continuous visibility into the location of a medical shipment.

By implementing these measures, logistics companies can improve the quality of cold chain services for medical products, increasing the security level of the goods being transported and the intended recipients – the patients.

Cold chain meaning in medicine transportation

Undoubtedly, proper logistics, storage, and transportation of pharmaceutical products under controlled conditions are vital to protecting patient health and maintaining medicine quality. It is, therefore, worth choosing proven solutions to ensure safe pharmaceutical supply chains for temperature-sensitive, life-saving medicines.

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