In case you don’t know, a cold chain storage facility is pretty different from a warehouse. But even that is only one part of the supply chain system for your products. Having a great third party logistics partner is especially important for industries like pharmaceuticals with specific needs and a high cost of production. So, knowing what features to look for to vet your 3pl cold chain options can be huge. Here are a few we recommend:
A Deep Lane Radio Shuttle System
This system of storage in a warehouse allows for pallets to be stored very high and deep in a warehouse, making it ideal for super stacks or pallets with overhang. The system also increases storage capacity and safety while decreasing the likelihood of damage.
Why You Need It: Not only is a deep lane radio shuttle system a great way to reduce warehousing costs on average by allowing for maximum use of space, it comes with contingency benefits as well. More densely-packed space in a cold storage environment also reduces energy costs for cooling as the denser product is less likely to lose heat than air. This also can create a longer time horizon to spoilage in the case of a cooling system failure, keeping your products safe.
Quick and Deep Freezing Capabilities
Quick freezing is a service in which a blast freezer blows cold air over product to freeze as quickly as possible, similar to how a convection oven crisps food more quickly. A deep freeze capability can bring products down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why You Need It: These are great services to have on hand as a pharmaceutical developer because they will provide flexibility to your team even if they’re not necessary yet. But more than that, having both blast freezing and deep freezing capabilities require sensitive temperature monitoring equipment beyond your typical cold warehouse, and it demonstrates a commitment to cold chain technology that pharmaceuticals need. Don’t go with a warehouse dabbling in cold chain for life saving medications. Get a pro.
Temperature mapping a warehouse is pretty similar to how it sounds. It’s a period of monitoring a warehouse’s temperature and humidity by placing sensors in a grid pattern to document fluctuations and differences across the space and over time, thereby creating a map of temperatures within the warehouse.
Why You Need It: Even with modern cooling technology, warehouses are likely to have warmer and cooler, drier and wetter spaces within. 3pls will address large fluctuations by updating the infrastructure, but there will always be some level of variation within a warehouse. By having this specific data, a warehouse team can ensure that your product is stored in a location that has an appropriate range of temperature and humidity as precisely as possible.
End-to-End Freight Security
Just like any retail store, your cold chain needs security to ensure there’s no theft or tampering of products. This can look like motion-sensor lighting at night, smart video monitoring, physical security with extra locks, and more.
Why You Need It: Theft is a huge part of shrinkage in a supply chain, and it’s as likely to be conducted while in transit as in a warehouse. It’s one of the biggest challenges facing pharmaceutical supply chains specifically due to the high dollar value of the product and the urgency of need for it. Having a plan to ensure security of your product throughout the supply chain can help your business meet regulations and reduce shrinkage in one go.
Finding a dependable cold storage provider can be hard these days. But MWCold knows the questions you should ask when selecting a 3pl partner for your business. We have more than 50 years of experience building cold chain solutions for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. To learn more about how to build a more effective pharma cold chain, reach out to our team.