Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - 31

Supply Chain/Logistics

Active shipping containers are transforming ground-based
cold chain shipping
continued from page 27

is open the container, load the cargo and
close the door. The units are handled with
a forklift or pallet jack, and load directly
from the customer's dock to the LTL truck.
Temperature is tracked throughout the trip,
with excursion alarms that communicate
to the customer in real time. The units are
built to withstand the rigors of the trucking
network, and may be locked and marked
by the customer for additional safety and
cargo protection. The technology is green
and the containers are built to last at least
10 years.
Economical option
Perhaps the most attractive advantage
of active shippers is the cost savings.
Because these units feature self-contained
temperature control and tracking, they
can be transported in mixed or LTL loads
with dry freight, saving the customer up
to 70% over dedicated reefer trucking.
Comparisons to specialized carriers
may yield even greater savings.* Active

containers, at least in the case of those
supplied by Cold Box Express, are available
nationwide for one-way rental, which
increases the ease of use and the economics
of a shipment.
Though designed only for ground
t r a n s p o r t a t i o n a t t h i s t i m e , a c t ive ,
temperature-controlled shippers
provide vital support for international
a i r s h i p m e n t s a s a co m p l e m e n t a r y
a n d e co n o m i c a l a l t e r n a t ive f o r U S
airport ingress and egress. Rather than
hiring dedicated refrigerated trucks or
extending service for expensive active air
cargo containers, these shippers make
it possible to transport valuable cargo
to and from the customer via dry van
or LTL.
Currently, the Huntsville, AL-based
company Cold Box Express makes the only
*These cost savings are realized alongside enhanced
temperature control and real time tracking,
monitoring, and reporting.

Cold Box is targeted for less-than-truckload shipping

active temperature-control pallet shipper
designed for the rigors of the mixed load
ground transportation market, having
essentially invented this space for ground
transportation in the US.
In addition to precision temperature
control and ease of use, one of the most
innovative features of the Cold Box
shipper is its specialized tracking device
that includes both GPS and cellular
connectivity. The company automatically
monitors all activity 24/7, but also gives full
tracking access to customers who wish to
monitor their own shipments. At the end
of each transport, the company provides
a compliance report complete with a
summary of temperature performance
and the underlying data in five-minute
increments. This level of visibility and
control was previously offered only by
specialty carriers at a premium price;
real-time tracking is now much more
economically feasible with Cold Box's
active monitoring capabilities.
While the Cold Box is not designed for
air cargo, one of its highest and best uses is
in support of its customer's international
freight operations. Several 3PL customers
have reduced the g round cost of an
international shipment by employing the
Cold Box + LTL shipping for the transit of
pharmaceutical products to and/or from
the airport. In many cases, the airborne
active container cannot leave the perimeter
of an airport cargo area; some type of
transfer to other transportation systems is
necessary.
Previously, most of these shipping
elements were completed with costly
dedicated refrigerated trailers, or by
extending the rental of expensive air cargo
containers aboard dedicated trailers, even
when only one or two pallets of product
are carried. Shippers report reduced total
costs of transit plus the added benefit of

Cold Box pallet capacity

necessary monitoring and reporting to and
from the shipping origin or destination.
A more common domestic experience
involves a Southern California
manufacturer of laborator y reagents
that formerly shipped product to its
distributors using a cumbersome dry ice
bin with varying degrees of success. The
Cold Box has replaced this awkward and
uncertain shipping practice. The customer
now utilizes two Cold Box units for two
separate products with two different
temperature requirements. The customer
reports greatly improved reliability and
reduced cost.
T h e C o l d B ox o p t i o n i s c o m i n g
to market at a time when heightened
attention to regulatory compliance and cost
efficiencies in the supply chain are growing
rapidly. It is serving a specific and growing
niche. For now, the service is available only
in the US and Canada, but the company
expects to expand internationally in
the future.

Top News

Pharmaceutical cold chain logistics is a $13.4-billion
global industry
continued from page 7

Methodology
To perform its analysis, Pharmaceutical
Commerce starts with the current lists of
approved drugs, and what their labels say
for storage and shipping conditions. Drugs
in the pipeline are also evaluated to the

extent possible. That fraction of approved
drugs is then compared to measures of
overall pharma sales (from organizations
like IMS Health and EvaluatePharma),
and overall pharma logistics spend and
volumes. Data are broken down according

to shipping mode (air, ground, sea); by
geography (North America, Europe, Asia
and rest-of-world); and the spending
proportions between transportation,
packaging and instrumentation.
The Biopharma Cold Chain

Sourcebook, now in its eighth year of
publication, is available for purchase
from Pharmaceutical Commerce. Email
info@pharmaceuticalcommerce.com for
more information.

May | June 2017 Visit our website at www.PharmaceuticalCommerce.com 31


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017

Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - Cover1
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - Cover2
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - 4
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - 5
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Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - 31
Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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