Real-Time In-Transit Visibility: Implications for the Pharma Cold Chain

Excerpt:

Recent chaos and uncertainty make a strong use case for real-time, end-to-end visibility at scale in the pharma cold chain. Shippers of high-value urgent, fragile and perishable cargoes need continuous monitoring of shipment location, condition and security. They need to know, preferably in real time, when goods will not arrive on time and in full (OTIF) — a key performance measure — in order to take fast corrective action.

Article Summary:

Full shipment visibility across supply chains has been an elusive goal for decades. Legacy electronic data interchange (EDI) transaction sets in use since the 1980s were designed around verifying completion of component “transactions” in the order-to-pay cycle, leaving critical reporting gaps as goods are in transit.

A lot can happen in those gaps, from collision damage, to breakdowns or weather delays, to cargo loss or theft. Shippers of high-value urgent, fragile and perishable cargoes need continuous monitoring of shipment location, condition and security. They need to know, preferably in real time, when goods will not arrive on time and in full (OTIF) — a key performance measure — in order to take fast corrective action.

Perishable medicines with limited options for storage are typically made to order, meaning that replacement orders for damaged shipments can cause unintended inventory dislocations. As the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated with medical equipment, supplies and tests, as well as vaccines, an inability to gather meaningful insights from shipment data can trigger the widely reported “bullwhip effect” of alternating shortages, overstocking and supply chain gridlock. Finally, security threats and compliance issues around provenance and quality control are omnipresent concerns. It is not only dollars at stake in pharma but, at times, patient lives.

“For the last two years the norm has been delay; the norm has been loss,” says Alex Guillen, director of sales, life sciences and pharma at Boston-based supply chain visibility platform Tive. “And now we see the Ukraine-Russia situation. It isn’t stopping; it’s one thing after another.“

About Tive:

Tive in-transit visibility solutions help shipping and logistics professionals manage their shipments and eliminate preventable delays and damage.

(Source: SupplyChainBrain, March 2022)

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