Singapore, November 23, 2011
UPS Temperature True and PharmaPort 360 Address Product Protection and Regulatory Compliance Challenges
Following the opening of UPS's first Asia healthcare regional distribution facility in Singapore this year, UPS is again enhancing its healthcare capabilities globally. UPS has launched UPS Temperature True®, its door-to-door cold chain transportation and monitoring service in Asia. Working closely with the industry and governmental regulating bodies, UPS also introduced PharmaPort™ 360, a specially-designed airfreight container for healthcare cold chain transportation.
"UPS Temperature True represents our philosophy in managing cold chain transportation. We ensure that every care is taken throughout the journey to ensure the vaccines, biologics and other temperature-sensitive healthcare shipments arrive at their destination without compromise" said Craig Foster, senior vice president, Supply Chain and Healthcare Logistics, UPS Asia Pacific. "Through planning, controls and a strong global logistics network, we minimize one of the highest healthcare cost elements, wastage due to product spoilage."
For UPS Temperature True shipments, trained agents monitor shipment milestones 24/7 through UPS's control towers positioned around the world. If risk is detected, pre-determined contingency plans are immediately activated to mitigate any risk of damage or loss.
"These high-value, temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, vaccines and biologics demand special care and handling. They often require global transportation – from the manufacturing plant, to the doctor and to the end-patient," said Lim Bee Koong, director, Healthcare Strategy, UPS Asia Pacific. "As much as 30 percent of the manufacturer's distribution cost is allocated to potential spoilage during the storage and transportation process."
Logistics is crucial to Asia's healthcare leadership role and industry growth. With increasing global research and development, as well as public healthcare investments in Asia, the region is estimated to grow to almost 40 percent of global revenues in the healthcare industry by 2015, from the current revenues of just 27 percent. (Source: Frost & Sullivan)
This is also reflected in the growth of cold chain logistics spending by 43% in the region, from US$1-billion in 2008 to approximately US$1.50-billion in 2011, according to the Cold Chain Biopharma Logistics Sourcebook in 2010.
Based on UPS's recent Pain in the (Supply) Chain global healthcare survey, Asia respondents cite regulatory compliance, cost and wastage as their biggest concerns. UPS's new PharmaPort 360 air freight container is designed for handling temperature-sensitive products and addresses the key industry issue of safeguarding these shipments.
Unlike other containers on the market, the PharmaPort 360 has built-in sensors that not only closely monitor shipment temperature and GPS location but transmit this data to UPS's global control towers via GSM, a standard global cellular network. UPS trained and dedicated control tower agents proactively monitor the container for select "heartbeats" such as internal and external temperatures, near real-time location and battery life.
Manufactured by Cool Containers, LLC for UPS, the PharmaPort 360 is designed with input from both the UPS, life sciences and other transportation industry experts. The unit is fully validated, tested and exceeds rigorous healthcare industry standards for temperature-sensitive compliance.
What sets the PharmaPort 360 container apart is that it maintains strict temperatures by utilizing both heating and cooling storage technology, allowing it to tolerate a significantly wider range of extreme ambient temperature changes. The container more effectively maintains temperatures critical for protecting medicines that need to stay within the required 2-8°C. The PharmaPort 360 also sustains its protective temperature range for more than 100 hours, which is an important factor as more supply chains extend globally and healthcare products need to travel farther to reach markets.
The container's temperature control and monitoring systems are powered by an AC rechargeable battery. The unit's technology replaces the need for dry ice, thus eliminating the associated handling fees and hazardous materials charges. The PharmaPort 360 will hold critical 2-8°C temperatures 38 percent longer than current dry ice container solutions.
"Product losses from temperature excursions and mounting scrutiny from regulatory authorities are pressuring healthcare companies to strengthen supply chain compliance and gain more control through shipment data," Lim added. "Having the information to prove that the integrity of a vaccine has been preserved in-transit, for example, is almost as critical as the contents of the package."
The PharmaPort 360's unique design also allows for more flexibility for flight options. While in transit mode, the container neither consumes energy nor emits external heat, vapor or gasses, allowing the unit to fly in both upper and lower deck aircraft positions. This offers more routing options, especially in constrained transportation lanes. The United States Federal Aviation Authority also has approved the PharmaPort 360 to fly on narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, allowing for a high degree of flexibility in flight selections and opening access to markets globally. As a part of UPS's latest temperature-sensitive capabilities, the PharmaPort 360 is available exclusively through the UPS Temperature True service.