2012 -2013 Top 2 Priorities in Transport Packaging for Pharma

Andrea Charles

According to the Pharma IQ’s Transport Packaging survey, maintaining the cold chain and ensuring security and traceability are the two biggest priorities for packaging engineers and logistics managers in the next 12 months.

Product safety and integrity is the number one priority at every stage of a drug’s life cycle and there is no exception when it comes to logistics and distribution. The quality and type of tertiary packaging is central to transporting drug products safely and efficiently.

In 2012 Pharma IQ ran a Transport Packaging survey to examine the priorities and challenges of packaging engineers and logistics managers in charge of choosing and testing the tertiary packaging for life science products.

The challenges they face on a packaging level include:

  • Rigorous compliance testing to ensure packaging adheres with ISO/ISTA standards and current regulations
  • Security especially when it comes to high value goods in the supply chain. Packaging professionals and logistics managers have to select and weigh up the cost of tamper proof packaging and integrity. They also, need to look at a means of tracking their packages and prove chain of custody.
  • Maintaining the cold chainif a product is temperature sensitive, again they need to choose the right packaging solutions, look at a tracking option and test it to ensure integrity.

60% of survey respondents cited security and traceability as one of their biggest priorities, followed by the cold chain 50%, ambient temperature management 20%, sustainability 13%, and serialisation of tertiary packaging at 7% respectively.

Only 21% of the survey respondents spent more than 50% of the time on transport packaging, nearly 80% spent less than this and no participants spent all of their time on transport packaging.

At present the majority of the survey participants 69% decide on their transport packaging in house, whilst 19% had logistics providers take ownership for it.

The majority of participants 79% also always use secure transport packaging. The remaining participants said the level of security for their transport packaging depends on the country or region it is being shipped to at 10% and the value of the product being shipped at 11% respectively.

Finally the survey respondents were asked what are the biggest challenges they face when choosing tertiary packaging. Over half of the respondents selected destination as one of their biggest challenges with 57%, followed by regulations 36%, cost 29% and supplier reputation at 14% respectively.

As packaging and logistic professionals navigate the tranpsort packaging landscape for life science products, they are geared up to tackle the challenges of global distribution, security and traceability, regulatory compliance and maintianing the cold chain to ensure supply chain integrity.

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