TNT Express launches PharmaSafe, a specialized temperature-controlled service for the reliable transport of large quantities of pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines and insulin.
PharmaSafe is designed to tackle the main challenge facing pharmaceutical supply chains: the lack of control and visibility inherent in the involvement of too many parties (typically more than 20 for an air shipment). The majority of errors occur when shipments change hands. Risks include damages to packaging, customs clearance delays, and most importantly temperature deviations, which can incur major costs for pharma companies and affect product efficacy. According to the World Health Organization, every fourth vaccine reaches its destination in a degraded state because of incorrect shipping.
Demand for temperature-controlled air transport of pharmaceutical products is expected to grow by 12% annually over the next five years, fueled by stricter regulations on risk control and increasing global demand for medicine.
PharmaSafe also comes with one of the best passive containers currently available, the va-Q-tainer. The va-Q-tainer is a high performance, cost-efficient and re-usable passive container. Its reliability is such that insurance companies have, in some instances, cut premiums by 50% for pharmaceutical companies that use it. va-Q-tainers are capable of maintaining the required inside temperature (frozen, refrigerated or controlled room temperature) for more than 120 hours without electrical power supply or dry ice, even in extreme outside temperatures.
Crucially, PharmaSafe offers real time tracking of location and temperature from end to end. Sensors measure the temperature of the shipment not only inside, but also outside the va-Q-tainer throughout the transport. Temperatures are even measured during flights. The information is transmitted in real time to TNT’s 24/7 PharmaSafe Management Centre by a GSM transponder that can be used on TNT’s aircraft. TNT Express can thus detect, predict and correct any temperature excursion without customers having to take action themselves. TNT Express sends customers a detailed shipment and temperature report immediately after delivery.
To ensure even better control over the supply chain, TNT Express offers PharmaSafe on the routes the company operates using its own fleet. The service is available between Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States, as well as within Europe.