2013 Investment Forecast: Temperature Controlled Logistics in the Biopharma Supply Chain

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Cold Chain IQ

2013 will see a great deal of investment in new and existing technologies for improving supply chain visibility and packaging.

In 2012 Cold Chain IQ conducted an online research to gauge the opinions and insights on the current and future economic and job prospects from professionals working in the temperature controlled supply chain for life sciences products.

The survey entitled "Economy and Job Outlook Survey – Cold Chain Pharma in Recessionary Times"
found over 64% of developers/ manufacturers of life sciences products are planning on investing in new technologies for the temperature controlled supply chain in the next 12 months. This figure is reflective of the growing need for temperature control supply chain solutions and services in the emerging markets.

The main areas to expect investment are packaging and supply chain visibility. Over half the participants 56% respectively, identified these are key areas for investment by their companies in the next 12 months. Followed by security /RFID at 34%, air and ocean freight 19% and thermal blankets at 3%. One of the most effective ways to reduce risk in the supply chain is to select the right container / packaging. Increasing visibility also reduces cost and risk by tracking and tracing, also RFID companies can reduce transit time, product losses due to poor handling and counterfeiting.

"The recipe for supply chain excellence is easy "reduce cost and risk" but the implementation is not as easy it sounds," said Carlos Castro, Cold Chain / Transportation Project Manager for Bayer Healthcare to Cold Chain IQ.

As regulators raise the bar on supply chain safety, manufacturers are requiring more sophisticated technology solutions to track and trace product throughout the supply chain and ensure supply chain integrity.

The main areas for investment mirrored where participants thought their companies should be investing to increase profitability.

The survey asked participants where they think their companies should be investing to increase profitability. Packaging and Track and Trace were the clear front runners. 46% of life science manufacturers think their company should be investing in packaging in the next 12 months to increase profitability and at least 40% in Track and Trace.

Air and ocean freight was next at 28%, followed by Security and RFID 24%, freight forwarding/ 3PL 22%, and thermal blankets 10% respectively.

The majority of survey respondents were optimistic about the temperature controlled logistics in 2013, with 64% expecting the market the market to be better than 2013.

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