There are certain industries in which it is absolutely crucial for logistics companies to keep products within a strict temperature range. Two of these Industries include pharmaceuticals and fresh produce. Here, we explain a little more about the importance and issues facing businesses operating within these industries and what they can do to protect from losses.
In the case of pharmaceuticals, maintaining temperatures within a certain range is crucial to the efficacy of the medicine. If drugs are allowed to become too hot or too cold, it can render them useless and they can even become harmful. At the very least it can reduce their effectiveness. The greatest danger is if the recipient of a pharmaceuticals order is unaware of the cold chain breach. Without knowledge that the efficacy of the drugs may have been compromised, clinicians may treat people with drugs that are unlikely to have the desired effect or vaccinate individuals with vaccines that are unlikely to provide the presumed protection. The knock-on effect of that speaks for itself.
Perishable produce is another area in which an ambient temperature is crucial. Well managed transportation is key in reducing the risk of the food becoming rotten and slowing down the process of decay by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Certain foods, in particular meat and fish, can become harmful to the consumer if they are allowed to become too warm. Fresh meat for example should be kept at an optimum temperature of 1.5°C. The two outcomes of failing to keep perishable food fresh by maintaining an optimum temperature are wastage and illness – these outcomes are disastrous for both company and consumer.
How much are we wasting?
In the developed world there are strict rules and regulations regarding the cold chain and on the whole every possible precaution is taken to ensure that cold chains and temperature ranges are adhered to. The trickiest part is monitoring to ensure that no breach has occurred. Maintaining a specific temperature range throughout the process of transportation can be challenging. In the United States, estimates suggest that 12% of total food waste happens as a result of failure to provide appropriate refrigeration during transportation.
The solutions – are they really enough?
Currently many logistics companies use USB temperature loggers in transportation containers to check that the storage temperatures do not rise too high or drop too low. USB monitors however can be fiddly and time-consuming to use and can even pose a security risk. Cyber security companies are now advising businesses to ban USB devices as they are considered a security threat. Viruses and malware can be stored on USB devices and then transferred into business IT systems with disastrous consequences.
A new dawn…
The new alternative from Smashtag is a state-of-the-art Bluetooth device which is simpler and safer to use than the old-style USBs. Our Bluetooth device uses a simple mobile app to report on temperature fluctuations occurring whilst products are being transported. The device works via a self-adhesive pad which can be attached to a box or left loose in a container. The device records temperature and reports any undesirable fluctuations to the ‘Chill’ app, which then sounds an alarm. The Chill app not only records the data but also uploads the information to the Cloud and this information can then be viewed by anyone who needs to see it. The Chill app and device are accurate, simple to use and provide easy to access data. A straightforward and modern solution to the problem of transporting goods at an optimum temperature? We think so! Why not give it a try to see how much easier it could make your cold storage shipments?