The Pharma Logistics IQ’s Pharma Sea Freight Working Group final report, issued in December 2016, noted that the main requirement for transporting pharmaceuticals by sea is the availability of reefer boxes where they are needed, not a foregone conclusion. The report also recommended the use of integrated temperature tracking devices to receive early warning of problems as well as additional passive solutions within the reefers to protect against malfunctions.
Ocean carriers including Maersk, CMA CGM, and Zim have added to their reefer fleets in recent months. Zim ordered 1,900 40-foot high-cube refrigerated containers in late 2015 and introduced its ZIMonitor products, which includes access to a team of cold chain experts. Maersk Line added 14,800 new reefers in 2016 and 30,000 in 2015 to the world’s largest reefer fleet of more than 270,000 containers. The average age of Maersk Line’s reefer fleet is now less than eight years, significantly below the industry average of 12-years as recently reported by Drewry.

Maersk’s new reefers feature built-in Remote Container Management (RCM) technology, which turns each reefer into a digitally connected device and provides enhanced visibility to cargo across Maersk Line’s reefer fleet. The StarConomy reefer control software designed by Maersk Container Industry (MCI) supports reefer container operators by allowing them to maintain precise temperature control inside the reefer.

Onset, a supplier of data loggers and monitoring solutions, developed the InTemp mobile app for the company’s InTemp CX400 Series products for pharmaceutical cold chain monitoring. The company recently announced that the app is available for Android devices.

The InTemp CX400 Series includes a range of data loggers for monitoring temperatures in refrigerators, freezers, and controlled-temperature storage areas. The InTemp mobile app enables users to easily view temperature data from CX400 loggers, check logger status, set alarms, and create and share secure reports from their mobile devices. The InTemp CX400 loggers were designed to simplify compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine monitoring guidelines.

DHL Global Forwarding has introduced new iOS and Android apps providing users access to DHL’s LifeTrack online cold chain tracking and management platform. The apps give life sciences and healthcare shippers an overview of their shipments, alerts about issues like temperature excursions, and round-the-clock support from cold chain experts.

Pelican BioThermal, a maker of temperature-controlled packaging solutions for the life sciences industries, recently launched a new product called CoolPall Vertos Advance. The product incorporates advancements such as phase change material (PCM) and vacuum insulated panels (VIPs), and offers the marketplace a cost-effective alternative to water-based coolants. The inspiration for the new product addition came from customer feedback highlighting a need for passive packaging with the ability to be placed in refrigerated storage during transport. The packaging has a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius. The company is targeting the product to emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and Eastern Europe.