September 22, 2020

Thermal Boxes and Their Place in Pharmaceutical Shipments

‍Any business involved in logistics or the transportation of cool or cold goods understands the major need for temperature control in freight. Trucks, boats, trains, and other means of mass transportation have to be specially modified to prevent perishable goods from shipping damages. Thermal boxes can be incredibly helpful tools to use for cold chain management. But what exactly are they, and what exactly is cold chain management?

What is cold chain management?

Cold chain management is the act of maintaining quality control for various stages throughout the supply chain for cold or frozen perishable products. Cold chain management is vital for cold perishable products in the medical supply chain, as allowing refrigerated medications such as insulin to be subjected to temperature changes could render all of the product unusable. It’s also necessary for food manufacturers that sell frozen goods to properly manage their cold chain to ensure food arrives at supermarkets in a frozen and safe condition.

There are a variety of ways that businesses manage their cold chain. Some businesses will invest in less than truckload transportation with refrigerated trucks, meaning that they will share a portion of a refrigerated truck with another company’s frozen goods in order to save money and utilize freight space. LTL shipping can be quite beneficial for a number of reasons. Not only is it cheaper, but it is better for the environment and LTL shipments that are refrigerated can often be monitored with software supplied by the logistics company involved. Just as well, LTL delivery removes the need to invest in outright purchasing refrigerated trucks, making it better for startups or small businesses.

Other companies will outright purchase trucks with temperature monitoring capabilities or invest in logistic temperature monitoring platforms like Logmore. In some cases, manufacturers will utilize refrigerated facilities with advanced monitoring systems and only deliver their products locally, opting for a relatively short cold chain.

Essentially, the cold chain comes down to quality assurance and ensuring that perishable frozen or cold products are properly maintained at a certain temperature, down to the last mile. A new way of ensuring this is through the use of thermo boxes.

What are thermo boxes?

Even the smallest break in the cold chain could result in bacterial growth, such as salmonella, or a significant shelf-life cut in products. In many cases, frozen pharmaceutical items or medications will need to legally be thrown away.

Thermo boxes can help prevent these risks. Isothermal boxes are containers that contain eutectic plates that make it possible to maintain a constant diffusion of temperature-monitored air. Thermo boxes can be small and used for individual deliveries but can also come in a large cart form that is easy to pack into delivery semi-trucks.

Thermo boxes are also quite useful for needs that go beyond the need for hot or cold container units. Many isothermal containers from a variety of brands come with high-pressure foam polyurethane insulation. This material not only makes it very easy to keep items cold with the assistance of eutectic plates, but it also provides an additional degree of protection from bumps or toppling product during transportation. Because many pharmaceutical products are quite delicate, this level of insulation and protection has major importance in the medical world. Most thermo boxes are capable of transporting up to twenty-four hours of biological or medical products at strictly controlled temperatures.

There are many pros and cons to thermo boxes, but they should always be used with temperature monitoring software, such as the excellent monitoring and tracking software provided by Logmore.

What are the benefits to thermo boxes for pharmaceutical shipping?

It all comes down to the cold chain. Thermo boxes are an economical and effective tool to use in order to keep the cold chain whole. It’s quite easy to accidentally mistrack something or suffer from truck malfunctions and other issues, which makes running the cold chain a very precise and delicate process. With the use of thermo boxes, a pharmaceutical company can easily take control of their supply chain.

How to keep products from freezing in thermo boxes

While thermo boxes are excellent, they can be a little bit hard to manage in terms of keeping the product at a specific temperature for a prolonged amount of time. Sometimes, thermo boxes work a little too well and can freeze products and possibly damage them. This can be avoided by investing in temperature control, management, and monitoring software. Logmore has an excellent solution to this, which we’ll dive into in the next section.

There is also the issue of transporting freight through areas that are exceptionally cold during the winter. In this scenario, cold external air can lower the temperature of your thermo boxes, thus freezing the products inside. This can be avoided with the use of pallet covers or blankets, which you can easily purchase through most logistics or freight platforms. These products can help keep your product from freezing. If you utilize styrofoam coolers for frozen individual parcel shipping, it’s pretty much the same thing. Insulating pallet covers or blankets will keep outside conditions away from your products and help your thermobox operate properly.

How can Logmore help?

Logmore is redefining the supply chain and looking at how condition monitoring can be improved for small, medium, or large businesses through the use of data-tracking tags. Condition monitoring can involve a wide range of things, from temperature to humidity to light to shocks to tilt. However, in the case of maintaining the cold chain, Logmore has an exceptional use case for temperature monitoring.

Through the use of a simple QR tag, businesses can take advantage of built-in hyper-accurate sensors that can store enough memory for over a whopping 20,000 measurements. On top of that, cloud storage is unlimited with a subscription. It’s virtually as simple as planting a Logmore QR tag inside of your transport vehicle or thermobox container. Everything can easily be tracked directly from your phone with an extremely user-friendly dashboard.

Want to test how Logmore can be used for pharmaceutical temperature monitoring? Click the green button below to order a free trial tag!

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