Successful Cold Chain Logistics from Europe to Russia

Cold Chain IQ

Cold Chain logistics and distribution is one of the most significant and complex challenges for the biopharmaceutical industry, owing to the importance of keeping products such as vaccines, serums and test drugs at a stable temperature.

This is a concern for biopharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders all over the world, but can be particularly demanding for those operating between Europe and Russia, where there are many factors to consider and potential obstacles to overcome.

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance procedures in Russia can be complicated and exhaustive, particularly for unusual and potentially sensitive items such as pharmaceutical drugs.

There are several stages of the clearance process, such as the checking of licences, permits and other required documents, and the implementation of customs fees and duties or confirmation of exemptions. Officials also have the power to conduct physical inspections to check any risks that may have been identified.
Among the potential causes of delays that pharmaceutical companies should be aware of are discrepancies between documents and the items being transported, incorrect documents and special control categories.

Particular regulations are in place for the transportation of medicines. Registered products must be accompanied by a registration certificate, while unregistered drugs require permission from the Ministry of Health.

Clearances can only be completed by a consignee - a company registered in Russia.

Good Distribution Practice

Another potential concern for organisations transporting temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals between Europe and Russia is good distribution practice (GDP). This area of regulation follows on from good manufacturing practice and aims to ensure that the level of quality assurance delivered in the production phase is maintained throughout the distribution network.

GDP requirements state that storage conditions are observed at all times, including during transportation, and that contamination from other products must be avoided.

Companies are also obliged to arrange adequate turnover of medicinal goods and to store their shipment in a safe and secure manner.

Furthermore, a tracing system should be implemented to guarantee that any defective products can be tracked and recalled.

Courier Selection

According to World Pharmaceutical Frontiers, the selection of an experienced and competent courier is one of the key aspects of executing successful cold chain transportation of pharmaceuticals in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

One of the first considerations for the company sending the shipment is whether the delivery provider has past experience in moving sensitive items to relevant locations in the region.

Can the courier guarantee timely delivery of the products? Is it aware of the crucial nature of avoiding deviations in temperature? Will the shipment be quickly and responsibly delivered directly to the appropriate recipient? These are all questions that must receive satisfactory answers before selecting a delivery company.


Ensuring that temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products reach their intended destination safely is a primary concern, but it is equally important to consider how they will be stored at the other end of the chain.

Conducting preparatory quality assurance checks can help to guarantee that warehouses and other storage facilities have the appropriate amenities and operating procedures to protect sensitive drugs or clinical supplies.

Key Performance Indicators

Examining key performance indicators (KPIs) for local warehousing and logistics providers is the most important step to achieving success in temperature controlled deliveries, according to World Pharmaceutical Frontiers.

Companies can request KPIs spanning a period of two years to learn more about the likelihood that a local firm can handle incoming and outgoing shipments in a timely fashion and avoid product losses. This approach can also offer an insight into the key task of temperature control and how successfully it is likely to be executed.

Have Your Say
Rate this feature and give us your feedback in the comments section below