Of all the transportation activities that take place in a domestic or global supply chain, temperature-controlled shipping is undoubtedly one of the most important. Potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals, food and perishable products, and many other types of shipments require strict adherence to an acceptable temperature range, whether mandated by the manufacturer or federal authorities. Tracking technology helps provide the real-time data, visibility, and alerts needed to mitigate risk and ensure safety and compliance at every point in the journey.
Let’s take a closer look at temperature-controlled shipments, why they are important, and some of the key challenges that are inherent with them. Then, we will address how tracking technology and real-time visibility work hand in hand to help shippers, carriers, and logistics service providers overcome those challenges. Disposable trackers can be especially effective, offering a durable, reliable, and affordable way to ensure optimal temperatures are maintained while cargo is in transit.
What are Temperature-Controlled Shipments?
Perishable products such as meats, fresh produce, coffee, and frozen foods are examples of temperature-controlled shipments that must be kept within strict temperature ranges while in transit. Other examples include pharmaceuticals, biological specimens for testing purposes, flowers, and even high-end electronics.
There are many ways to maintain optimal temperature ranges. Often the focus with temperature-controlled shipments is on keeping cargo cool, which includes the use of refrigerated trucks and warehouses, dry ice, reusable refrigerant gel packs, Styrofoam coolers and specimen kits. However, sometimes steps must be taken to keep cargo from falling below a certain temperature. Drum heaters and blankets work well in such cases.
In either case, real-time tracking and visibility can keep stakeholders apprised of any temperature excursions.
Challenges of Tracking Temperature-Controlled Shipments
Many pharmaceutical products and other highly temperature-sensitive goods must be kept within strict temperature ranges while in transit. While those acceptable ranges can vary by product, temperature excursions of any significance can result in damaged or destroyed products and millions of dollars in lost sales.
Disruptions can happen with or without warning, causing delays that could threaten the temperature stability of any shipment. Poor or substandard packaging could be a factor, as could ambient environmental temperatures that change drastically depending on the shipping region. Ever-changing regulations and a lack of global standardization are also challenges, as are the multiple touchpoints that bring human intervention into play when it comes to handling temperature-sensitive shipments.
Solve those Challenges with Trackers & Real-Time Visibility
Accurate temperature monitoring through state-of-the-art tracking devices and real-time visibility are the best way to help ensure temperature-controlled shipments are not compromised while in transit. The key is to receive configurable, real-time temperature excursion alerts as they are happening, which will empower decision-makers to mitigate risks that could result in spoiled products and disappointed customers.
Benefits of Using Disposable Trackers
Disposable trackers are practical, affordable, reliable solutions for shippers who are looking to gain real-time visibility into their temperature-controlled shipments. The perfect solution for last-mile deliveries where collecting and returning tracking devices poses a significant logistics challenge, disposable trackers offer the following advantages:
- Ability to pre-configure custom alerts – provide Immediate notifications of temperature variances beyond normal ranges. This leads to less spoilage, increased profitability, and greater cost control.
- Helps maintain regulatory compliance – automation creates all documentation needed to satisfy compliance requirements, such as FDA mandates for the transportation of human and animal food.
- Provides easy access to robust analytics – to help identify trends and root causes of excursions.
- User-friendly trackers & software platform – access data from anywhere on any device (smartphones, tablets, desktops/laptops and via SMS text messages).
- Easily share data among key stakeholders – shippers, carriers, logistics service providers, retailers, and even consumers.
Trust Tive Trackers & Software to Monitor Temperature-Controlled Shipments
Tive, a leading provider of cargo tracking technology and software, offers a wide range of multi-sensor trackers that help shippers, carriers, LSPs and retailers monitor temperature-controlled shipments with real-time visibility. Each multi-sensor tracker tracks temperature, humidity, location, and shipment integrity, and sends the data to the cloud in real time, where it can be accessed from the Tive software platform. This user-friendly interface makes it easy to plan, track and analyze shipments. To learn more about how these flexible, scalable solutions can bring end-to-end visibility to tracking temperature-sensitive shipments, schedule a demo with Tive today.