Cold-chain packager combines tracking with asset management

April 14, 2014

Enhanced reuse could be possible with ProEnvision system

Minnesota Thermal Science (Plymouth, MN), a business unit of Pelican Biopharma, has long been touting the performance of its Credo temperature-controlled packaging, which combines a variety of advanced-technology features, including phase-change materials and insulation, to provide compliant temperature control for as long as 168 hours. Certain of the products are qualified for reuse, and MTS has promoted the use of its products not just on a performance level, but as a shipping-management system with a smaller carbon footprint (and thus, better sustainability measures) than single-use products.

At the same time, numerous cold chain packaging and logistics providers have set up wireless communication systems to transmit product condition data, in near real-time, to shippers as an assurance that quality measures are being met. For shippers that deploy the technology, a shipment can be tracked, along with its temperature and other physical conditions, at each step in a transportation route.

Now, MTS is combining such tracking with its asset-management approach, in effect turning the insulated container into an operating unit that is part of the overall delivery process. The container can be tracked, via a cloud-based IT system called ProEnvision, outbound and back. Data on recommended replacement dates, return rates and turnaround times, or lot management can be conveyed along with the package. “Credo ProEnvision takes asset management and tracking individual shipments through the entire transportation cycle to the next level by enabling tracking and tracing (location and temperature) of valuable assets through the integration and collaboration with major third-party carrier management systems,” said Kevin Lawler, sales VP, in a statement. “This cloud-based software application was developed to minimize our customer's cost per use while maximizing their return on investment.”

Given that the biopharma logistics industry is still adjusting to a new level of expectations, coming out of the EU’s Good Distribution Practices guidance, it remains to be seen how successful MTS will be in convincing providers to engage with their assets this way. But for the pharma shipper who wants the quality assurance of a tracked shipment—with the benefit of an environmentally beneficial industry practice--ProEnvision could be a winner.