An overview for business-to-business transport

When it comes to transporting goods, especially those that are highly sensitive to variations in temperature, temperature controlled logistics is the indispensable solution.

Whether it’s ensuring the viability of samples, preserving the efficacy of pharmaceutical products, or maintaining the integrity of novel compounds, we cannot underestimate the need for precise temperature control during transport.

Jag Express offer expert advice for temperature controlled logistics for vaccines.

If you’re an organisation trying to understand how temperature controlled logistics works,  there are so many variables to consider which can easily become overwhelming.

In this guide we provide the answers. We’ll discuss the types of B2B cargo that require controlled temperature, the process behind temperature controlled shipping, and the essential considerations for shipping temperature-sensitive items.

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What is temperature controlled logistics?

Temperature controlled logistics, (in some industries, also referred to as cold chain logistics) refers to a specialised transportation and storage process designed to maintain a specific temperature range for items when they are being shipped.

The goal is to prevent spoilage, degradation, or any quality deterioration due to temperature fluctuations.

Meticulous control is crucial for items such as food, pharmaceuticals, samples, hazardous goods and more, to ensure items reach their destination safely and efficiently.

Temperature controlled shipping: step-by-step

Temperature-controlled logistics is a specialised supply chain management process designed to maintain and monitor precise temperature conditions throughout the transportation and storage of temperature-sensitive goods.

Let’s break down the key elements of temperature-controlled logistics step by step:

 1. Collection, packaging and labelling

The first step in cold chain logistics is the collection and packaging of the goods. 

This, firstly, involves identifying the goods that require temperature control due to their susceptibility to temperature variations. This will include items like your vaccines, blood samples and certain chemicals.

These goods will require appropriate packaging and labelling. This will include using packaging such as insulated containers and refrigerated packaging. The goods will also need to be labelled appropriately. If they are dangerous goods, you will need to label them according to the applicable ADR and IATA regulations.

You will then need to monitor the temperatures as they are being transported. Implementing temperature sensors and data loggers within the packaging will continuously monitor and record temperature conditions during transportation. You can use equipment like infrared thermography technology and telematics systems to do so.

Using the correct packaging for your item is critical when using temperature controlled logistics.

2. Processing and storage

Once products are collected and packaged, they may undergo processing and require storage under controlled conditions at processing and storage facilities with refrigeration or climate control systems. These facilities maintain precise temperature and humidity levels to ensure product quality and safety.

These facilities will usually have implemented quality control procedures to inspect, test, and verify the temperature-sensitive products before they are approved for transportation.

3. Distribution

Distribution in temperature-controlled logistics involves the transportation of products from storage to end-users, distribution centres or other facilities.

Different vehicles are used depending on the specific temperature requirements. For example, refrigerated trucks (aka reefers) are equipped with cooling systems to maintain temperatures at specific levels. They are commonly used for transporting blood samples and pharmaceuticals, as a temperature controlled courier vans which use in-vehicle monitoring technology.

Throughout the distribution phase, continuous temperature monitoring, remote tracking, and real-time data sharing with stakeholders are essential to guarantee the integrity of temperature-sensitive products.

Which cargo needs to be transported at a controlled temperature?

Vaccines are sensitive biological products that can lose their effectiveness if exposed to temperature extremes. Maintaining a controlled temperature during transportation ensures that vaccines remain potent and can provide immunity against diseases. Cold chain logistics is crucial for the distribution of vaccines.

Specialised pharmaceutical temperature controlled transport is essential for industries such as healthcare and research.

Blood samples, need to be transported at specific temperatures to preserve their integrity. Extreme temperatures can cause hemolysis (rupture of red blood cells) or the denaturation of proteins in the blood, rendering the samples useless for accurate testing and analysis.

  • Oxidisers

Oxidisers can be dangerous when exposed to high temperatures or if they react with other substances. Controlling the temperature during transportation is essential to prevent accidental ignition, combustion, or chemical reactions that can lead to hazardous situations.

Various dangerous goods, such as chemicals, flammable materials, explosives, and radioactive substances, may have specific temperature requirements for safety reasons. Some chemicals may become unstable or react violently if exposed to high temperatures, while others may need controlled cooling to prevent overheating or explosions.

Temperature controlled transport for oxidisers is a service offered by Jag Express

How do you ship temperature controlled items?

Ensuring the successful transportation of temperature-sensitive items involves careful planning and execution. Here are key considerations for shipping such items:

Use proper packaging

The packaging you need will usually depend on the shipment. Generally, insulated shipping boxes can prevent temperature fluctuation. 

Coolant packs or temperature-controlled pallets can also help regulate temperatures within the container.

Use the right internal protective materials

You can use bubble wrap to cushion and protect fragile items, preventing damage during transit. You can also use foam and air pillows to fill empty spaces in packages, adding an extra layer of insulation.

Use the ideal mode of transport

  •  Refrigerated trucks/vans: These specialised refrigerated vehicles are designed to transport temperature-sensitive cargo where road is the best option based on accessibility or distance considerations.
  •  Temperature-controlled air cargo: Air cargo services equipped with temperature-controlled compartments are suitable for international or longer distance shipments.
  •  Cold chain sea freight: For international shipping, cold chain ocean freight provides temperature-controlled containers for sea transport.

Engage professionals to do it for you

If navigating the intricacies of temperature controlled logistics seems daunting, consider working with a temperature-controlled courier or logistics provider.

These professionals specialise in handling temperature-sensitive goods and have the expertise to ensure a seamless and secure journey for your items.

Jag Express offer expert temperature controlled courier services.

Working with a specialist courier and logistics partner can make temperature-controlled shipping services stress-free.

Temperature-controlled transportation can be overwhelming, especially for businesses with limited experience in this specialised field, or those that have unique requirements.

Fortunately, there are third party shipping services designed to take the burden off your shoulders. These services offer end-to-end solutions, from packaging and temperature monitoring to transportation and delivery, ensuring that your temperature-sensitive cargo reaches its destination in optimal condition.

At Jag Express, we’re the experts at temperature-controlled transport.

We’ll work with you to understand the specific needs of your shipment, and create a solution that ensures your items get to their destination in a safe, compliant and efficient manner – locally and globally.

Speak to our team of logistics experts