Pharma cold chain: “Am I worried about peak season? Not at all.”

Mattias Isaksson Head of Marketing & Communications

Peak season is soon here and with that a higher risk of logistics problems as regards cold chain transportation of pharmaceuticals. We have asked Niklas Adamsson, COO at Envirotainer, if he is worried about peak season and the service level that can be expected from Envirotainer at this hectic time of the year.

As COO at Envirotainer, are you worried about peak season?

I’m not worried at all. A couple of years ago, there was some worry among our customers at peak season since we had some delivery issues in previous years. In 2017 and 2018 we delivered more or less flawlessly. We started a fairly large operational transformation in 2017 in how to deliver to our customers and that has really generated a major improvement.

How do you measure the success of your services?

One of our KPIs is availability. Availability is measured as our ability to deliver according to the client’s exact initial request. That is, if a client wants to lease a certain type container for cold chain transportation to Frankfurt in seven days and we can deliver exactly that, that’s what we call availability. If we cannot meet the exact initial requirement, but can offer the client an alternative, for example pick-up a container a day earlier or later or from a different station, or if we cannot help the client at all, that’s not availability.

In 2016, our availability was 87% during peak season in December and we lost a few orders. Last year, our availability in December was 99,5% and we lost no orders at all. Actually, we haven’t lost a single order since November 2018. This year, 2019, our availability has been 99,9% during the first 10 months and now in the third quarter we have been running at 100% availability. So, am I worried about the peak season? Not at all.

So peak season is business as usual for Envirotainer?

If I had been a customer a few years ago I would’ve been nervous in December but nowadays, at least for us at Envirotainer, peak season is like ordinary season. We deliver. A reason is that we are the largest player in our industry, and we are in a very good operational position. We have over the years increased the number of available containers and we have very efficient logistics services for cold chain transportation. We annually re-invest some 20% of our revenue into our products, services and network, which allows us to continue to grow strongly without running into operational or customer experience issues, unlike the situation for some of the other players out there.

What makes December peak season?

December has fewer working days, but pharmaceuticals must still be shipped so the volumes are the same. In addition, large amounts of Christmas presents are shipped from Asia at the same time as passenger flights are more crowded with both passengers and luggage. Envirotainer has the largest fleet of active containers for cold chain transportation in the market, and we can serve our clients globally, so we have a low level of risk exposure. Patients need medication all year round and we want pharmaceutical companies to feel confident that they can deliver their products.

Are you ready for peak season 2019?

Bring it on, we are ready for peak season! We really are, and I can say it with confidence. We did it last year and our customers really understand that. We actually received personal letters of thanks from our customers last year, because we made their life easier. At the end of the day, we want all our customers and partners – pharmaceutical companies, freight forwarders and airlines – to be able to focus on their business without worrying about getting the right container, at the right place, at the right time, wherever they are in the world.

Where do you want to ship to?

We offer unbeatable logistics coverage from across the world. We have 50+ service stations globally, covering more than 300 airports, over 2,000 trade lanes, and have regional operations centers in APAC, EMEA, and Americas.

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