Transporting Pharmaceuticals: Everything You Need to Know about Shipping Pharma

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Transporting Pharmaceuticals: Everything You Need to Know about Shipping Pharma #1

For many transporters, shipping pharmaceuticals might be difficult. Pharmaceutical shipments are complex operations that need accuracy and a tight focus on detail to prevent costly mistakes.

The pharmaceutical industry made significant progress in developing medicines for specific patients and uncommon diseases in the last few decades. These specialized pharmaceutical medications come in a variety of forms.

Biologics are one category of ship pharmaceuticals. These consist of tissues, allergens, DNA, blood, and vaccinations. Biologics have suddenly gained popularity as the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, there are over-the-counter pharmaceutical products like vitamins, minerals, and supplements. Pharmaceutical products are available in liquid, ointment, or solid form.

Basics of pharmaceuticals transportation

Carriers favor road shipment because of the circumstances under which medications must be stored and the demand for speedy delivery. Even though air travel is the quickest, particularly over vast distances, interest in this mode of transportation has significantly declined to a lack of common standards and transparency.

If pharmaceuticals need to be delivered as quickly as possible, they can be shipped by sea or railroad in dedicated refrigerated containers. Because of the well-organized supply chain, many pharmaceutical companies opt to ship via sea.

During shipping pharmaceuticals, it's crucial to keep an eye on the air's humidity and the temperature controlled. Ice packs must never come into direct touch with medications. They should be picked up immediately from the factory or refrigerated warehouse. The whole travel should be recorded, including the time and any changes in container temperature. The best transportation firms consider every conceivable scenario, including delays and cooling system malfunctions.

Pharmaceutical transportation regulations

Shipping regulations are one of the most important things to consider while distributing pharmaceuticals. These laws assure quality and safety requirements for all sorts of medications and vaccinations. The regulations are in force from the manufacturing facility up the supply chain to the retail shelves. The overall performance of the supply chain may deteriorate if they are not followed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) have developed standards to establish precise criteria for manufacturing, holding, and distributing pharmaceutical products. Standards for the manufacturing, holding, and distributing food and pharmaceutical items were set under these regulations in 1969

These guidelines were updated in 2015 to meet the features of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA offers comprehensive information under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for additional information on the handling and transportation of prescription medications.

Basic provisions for pharmaceutical transportation

Vehicle Equipment

Ensure that pharmaceutical delivery trucks have the necessary construction and equipment. Trailers, for instance, must have the required temperature controls and safety precautions.

Shipping Pharmaceuticals Operations

To avoid cross-contamination, shipping pharmaceuticals firms must thoroughly clean the trailer's cargo compartment. Temperature control and monitoring equipment must also undergo routine inspection and maintenance to maintain appropriate functioning.

Education and training

Direct participants in the distribution of drugs must have the requisite skills. It is necessary to record this training.


Every container for shipping pharmaceuticals has to be legibly tagged and labeled.


Records related to transportation and training must be kept up-to-date and appropriately stored.

Transport of pharmaceutical products requirements

All manufacturer and FDA criteria must be complied with concerning cold chain logistics. Having standardized automobile equipment is essential for pharma transport. If the truck is carrying out pharmaceutical products, it must include temperature control and safety features. It is necessary to clean the trailer to prevent product contamination. Maintaining records is another guideline that is necessary while carrying medications. You must keep track of the partners' respective transportation and training records.

Packing pharmaceuticals for transportation

Careful and appropriate packing is a further requirement for pharmaceutical product shipping. These heat packs may shield goods from an expanse of elements, including humidity, UV rays, and temperature changes.

7 out of 10 medications require temperature-controlled shipping; shipment of natural goods like tissues, regeneration agents, and hemoglobin calls for specific handling. Thermocontainers - cryogenic containers capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -150 degrees Celsius, are frequently used to store pharma products.

Some carriers may send pharmaceutical items using thermal pallets. These special pallets offer an additional layer of security. Thermally insulated pallet coverings can aid in protecting pharmaceutical supplies from injury. Furthermore, it's necessary to store boxes and containers as efficiently. The objective is to convey a lot of goods with the least amount of movement. Most of the time, medications are shipped in very delicate condition. There is a considerable probability that the pharma products cannot be utilized or sold if the contents within are harmed.

Temperature-controlled transporting

Once a pharmaceutical is made, time starts to pass before its expiration date. Refrigerated pharmaceutical products aim to prevent spoilage. The refrigerator trailers have a power source that allows them to run independently of vehicles. It enables it to operate its refrigeration system. It is made to ensure that the pharmaceutical products keep their cooling, whether transported by car or another method.

Follow the Refrigerant Flow

The principle of temperature-controlled transportation is not novel. The idea dates back to the 1840s when freezing temperatures and ice were employed to cold chain logistics by train.

Driver rules, confidentiality, safe cargo handling, incident reporting, cargo tracking, and mandated reaction times are just a few examples of the kinds of information that carriers may include in their instructions. When the transporter accepts a customer's request to engage with them, they often sign contracts outlining these guidelines.

Drivers are essential members of the supply chain. When carrying consequential commodities like medications driver's attention to detail is crucial. By limiting the abundance of time the vehicle is left unattended and eliminating needless pauses, drivers can verify safety while transporting pharmaceutical products.

Training for drivers is also vital. Drivers need to acquire specialized training for the cold chain logistics process and be familiar with traffic laws. The driver has to be knowledgeable about refrigeration vehicles' mechanics. The driver should always maintain the correct temperature in the conveyance.

The following recommendations can help drivers and medical companies reduce risks while carrying medications.

Theft protection

If you are transporting pharmaceutical products, it is essential to have reliable theft protection solutions installed. In addition to being pricey, the items are at risk of being stolen and falling into the hands of criminals, which might result in serious issues.

Some theft-prevention elements are the shipper's duty, while others are the carrier's obligation. Proper packing is one of the most significant safety measures that shippers can take. Packaging that expresses what is inside clearly may serve as a call to potential thieves. Packaging loses appeal if there is no labeling or other mention of the goods.

Solutions that boost safety and lessen the chance of theft entail:

  • Constant communication with the driver during the pharma transport;
  • Continuous GPS tracking;
  • The team of drivers;
  • Services of chaperone;
  • A direct path without any detours.

Engaging in a candid dialogue with your shipping pharmaceuticals partner is one of the best strategies to prevent the theft of pharmaceutical supplies. The best line of action is to inform them of the goods you are transporting and the amount of security needed. Your shipping partner will then be able to provide the best option to suit your needs in that situation.

Risks of Shipping Pharmaceuticals

The shipment of pharma products involves a lot of dangers. In addition to the dangers brought on by temperature changes, pharmaceutical products might run into other issues while transporting. Pharmaceutical items can wind up on the black market after cargo theft, which can support criminal activity and other unethical practices. Since warehouses are secure, many thefts often occur while pharma products are in transit.

It is vital to know how many people are handling the shipment. Logic implies that the more people work on cargo, the more probable it is to be lost or stolen in transit. Select a carrier who takes a straight, nonstop route if you are shipping pharmaceuticals. The amount of time it takes to carry the product will be shorter.

Pharmaceutical transportation with ARKCryo

Your items' integrity is protected throughout pharmaceutical shipping via ARKCryo. Pharma products require a lot of effort and time to pack and transport safely. There isn't a situation we can't handle, and there aren't any issues we can't resolve. We provide unmatched attention and care to ensure no pharmaceutical products are damaged by offering unrivaled attention and care. Our whole staff of carriers has undergone professional handling of sensitive items training.

Our team will take every precaution to secure your precious medications. We offer precise temperature control and monitoring with our refrigerated transportation. You may have a piece of mind knowing your pharmaceutical products are in good hands when combined with our high-risk, high-cost insurance.

Why You Should Only Trust Experts

Trust a competent shipping pharmaceuticals firm to handle the challenging work of managing logistics, security, temperature-controlled shipping, and compliance.

You'll gain great attributes by working with a group of transportation experts for medications and vaccines:

  • Assuring the maintenance of a safe temperature;
  • Getting the advantage of flexible delivery choices;
  • Assuring the pharma products' safety;
  • Adherence to regulations;
  • Ensure total visibility and traceability.

The transport of pharmaceuticals is strictly regulated since it involves significant hazards and responsibilities. Any pharmacy, third-party logistics company, and warehouse must adhere to the standards for medication storage to maintain their quality and efficacy among the details covered by each country's pharmaceutical legislation.

An established ARKCryo quality management system aids in lowering the risks connected to extreme temps, delays, or improper handling at various supply chain nodes.

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