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Temperature Controlled Logistics 2017 Report: Strategies for the Future

The future of the pharma cold chain logistics industry is in good shape, with sturdy growth being forecasted for the $12 billion market 1. Similar to the pharma industry it can, at times, be sluggish to evolve. Despite this, many experts are of the opinion that a range of trends are due to take hold in the industry. The rise of cell and gene therapies and the logistics paths they require (patient to manufacturer to patient, for instance) and the inherent sensitivity of the biomaterials will place new demands on the industry.

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Gary Hutchinson noted that we are due to see packaging and network designs become more tailored for specific drugs. We are seeing a trend in pharmaceutical manufacturers beginning to design their cold chain networks specifically to  the drug platform or modality based on therapeutical area. The ability to tackle a whole range of chronic diseases and illnesses with exciting new technologies has driven more and more specialization in not only the cold chain but the entire logistics network.

For example, stable and better characterized drugs with an exemplary safety record are using deferred shipping lanes, new transport modes including ocean freight, and an increased allowable range in shipping temperatures. However, more fragile platforms like a monoclonal antibodies require greater characterization of the drug product not only for temperature hazards, but a full range of environmental hazards including shock, vibration, temperature and humidity. The characterization of these synthesized human proteins in solution has shown a fragility that requires complex and specialized logistics networks supported by cushioning thermal packaging with tight control on temperature ranges. Coupled with the controlled temperature requirements for small molecule drugs, the depth and complexity of modern pharmaceutical supply chains will grow exponentially.

There are also new strategies appearing in terms of packaging conduct, payload volumetric efficiencies in packaging to leverage innovative techniques and metric calculations to maximise container utilisation. Also, some have been experimenting with the use of multi-cell trailers—refrigerated trailers with insulated curtains hung at intervals to create different temperature zones. Some peer pharma firms in the industry have noted the value in cross-firm collaboration on shipments and lanes to improve efficiency instead of having vacant space shipped due to packaging size constraints. The global insulated packaging marked is due to mature at a rate of 5.68% CAGR to 2020, driven by demand from the pharma industry. 2 

Experts are contemplating the impact that will be incurred on the cold chain by 3D Printed pharmaceuticals and the use of drones for delivery.

Pharma Logistics IQ presents the findings of its 2016 Temperature Controlled Logistics Future Trend Report, which examines the oncoming strategies likely to blossom in the cold chain industry. Expert analysis provided by Almac Group. 

In Q3 of 2016, Pharma Logistics IQ hosted an online survey to assess current perceptions on how the cold chain industry is likely to evolve over the next few years. The survey gathered the responses of the many stakeholders in the international cold chain community.

Companies featuring in our respondent base include the likes of:

  • Eli Lilly and Company, Korea
  • Astellas Pharma Inc.
  • Ministry of Health - Morocco
  • Ghana Health Service
  • Novartis
  • Marketsandmarkets
  • Genentech

Download your free copy of the report today. 

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