Cold chain for high-value pharma with zero (0) adverse events in four consecutive years

Adrian Gomes Strategic Account Manager

A pharmaceutical company has shipped a high-value and temperature-sensitive medicine from its Ahmedabad, India manufacturing site to the United States with zero (0) adverse events or product loss in more than four consecutive years. Below is a summary of the cold chain logistics solution that the company uses for its shipments.

The challenge: Shipping a high-value product in drastically different ambient temperatures

The pharmaceutical company specializes in generic drugs as well as proprietary pharmaceuticals. Products are shipped worldwide to a large number of markets. It is vitally important for the company that its pharmaceutical cold chain is efficient and agile, but also reliable, to maintain product integrity all the way to the patient.

One of the company’s high-value products is manufactured in Ahmedabad, India and is shipped in large quantities to the United States. A critical product requirement is to maintain the product at a temperature range of 2-8°C, meaning that the cold chain logistics solution must meet very high standards. Furthermore, the packaging must withstand hot as well as cold temperatures in the United States, to avoid temperature deviations that could compromise product quality.

The solution: Active cold chain with heating and cooling technology

In order to meet the product requirements, the company searched for a cold chain packaging solution that could maintain the required temperature range for extended periods of time, as well as tolerate the differing climates in India and the United States.

The company consulted with Envirotainer’s local team in India to find a packaging solution that would meet the product’s specific shipping requirements. Envirotainer’s active RKN e1 container met the company’s criteria. The RKN e1 is a single pallet-sized container with active temperature control, utilizing compressor cooling and electric heating technology that can keep any chosen temperature range between ±0 to +25°C. Furthermore, the RKN e1 is a certified air cargo Unit Load Device, (ULD) meaning that it can be carried onboard most wide-body aircraft.  ULD’s receives priority status, which reduces the risk of shipping delays.


The result: No adverse events or product loss in four consecutive years

To date, the company has used the cold chain logistics solution for more than four years, with no adverse events or product loss. Another key advantage, according to company representatives, is Envirotainer’s has the necessary global connections for implementation.

Further developments of the cold chain logistics solution

The company is currently evaluating the possibility of consolidating some of its shipments by using Envirotainer’s larger RAP e2 container from the Envirotainer Mumbai station. The RAP e2 is a five euro pallet-sized container, utilizing the same technology (cooling and heating) as the RKN e1. RAP e2 utilization brings unique advantages to its shippers by offering ease of handling and the ability to consolidate several pallets into one container.

Shipping from Mumbai would also imply a larger selection of airline carriers, which increases the possibility of shipping the product directly to its destination. The fact that Mumbai is a larger airport, with more facilities and better availability of services, also improves the conditions for keeping product integrity intact.

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