Sustainable shipping technologies in the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industry have come a long way, offering significant supply chain benefits.
When temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and therapies were first introduced, they required a great amount of shipping materials to keep them both properly protected and within their temperature requirements. In the industry, we refer to all of the components that are used to properly ship products as pack outs. The components that make up these pack outs are often intended for single-use.
While these components are necessary to ensure the product stays safe for consumption, they do lead to a great deal of waste after delivery.As the world experienced a push toward more sustainable methods and technologies as it relates to every aspect of life, including shipping materials, the pharmaceutical industry searched for a more sustainable way to ship their temperature-sensitive products.
In the logistics industry, initiatives around green warehouse technologies and sustainable packaging have become increasingly important. At MD Logistics, in ourlife sciences and pharmaceuticalsvertical, we have seen many of our clients make the shift from traditional shippers to more sustainable options.
Sustainable shipping technologies are not a new phenomenon, but options available to those operating specifically within the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industry have come a long way. There are various benefits to incorporating a sustainable shipping technology into your pharmaceutical supply chain.
Simplified Pack Out. Reusable shippers simplify the pack out process by drastically cutting down on the individual needed components. Complicated pack outs can lead to issues.
Streamlined Fulfillment. Historically, a pack out could differ both by client and the item being shipped. A sustainable shipper provides a few pack out options to accommodate a range of temperature requirements.
Cost Savings. Sustainable shippers do have the potential to offer significant cost savings to the client. While the upfront costs might be more, after the shippers have been used a determined number of times, cost savings can be realized when compared to traditional shippers.
Supplies Replenishment& Quality Checks. Replenishment of supplies and quality control checks on the shippers themselves are oftentimes performed by the vendor on a consistent basis, ensuring all shippers are performing to the standard the client’s product demands.
Vendor Management. Historically, choosing a sustainable shipping option is a decision that is driven by the client. Once our client chooses a vendor, we work with that vendor to ensure processes are in place in our facilities to ensure fulfillment is as streamlined as possible. It is important to verify that the shippers can fit on conveyors, IT systems can handle additional data, and the shippers themselves, once packed, aren’t too heavy to lift.
Environmental Impact. Perhaps the largest driver behind a sustainable shipping solution is that of the impact it has on the environment. Traditional shipping solutions are typically made of single-use materials, contributing to excess waste in landfills. A sustainable shipper utilizes reusable elements, cutting back on waste and reducing environmental footprint.
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