Home > News & Events > Blogs > Cold Chain Management for Pharmaceutical Distribution: 3PL Best Practices


Cold Chain Management for Pharmaceutical Distribution: 3PL Best Practices

9 January 2024 | 6 MIN

The pharmaceutical industry is one that requires stringent standards throughout the operation. From manufacturing to end consumption, the products have to be handled with utmost care to ensure their potency is preserved.


Cold Chain Management becomes a crucial aspect of the business in this context.


What is Cold Chain Logistics?

Cold Chain logistics refers to the transportation, storage and handling of temperature sensitive products. Throughout the process the temperature of the products is monitored at all stages and points in the supply chain.


Cold chain management ensures that the potency, safety and quality of the products is maintained.


Pharmaceutical Cold Chain

This is a specialized cold chain to ensure that vaccines as well as drugs maintain their potency and safety. This cold chain generally begins at the manufacturing facility itself. Drugs are manufactured in facilities that maintain stringent quality standards, with temperature control being a crucial part of this operation.


The manufactured products are stored and transported under strict quality control conditions. The temperature standards for cold chain logistics depend on the type of product being handled. For most drugs, temperature is maintained between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius to ensure quality. Blood products, vaccines and insulin also have to be handled between 2 and 8 degrees of Celsius in a cold chain. It is quite important to maintain this temperature to ensure that the products are suitable for human consumption.


It is also crucial to regularly monitor the process to ensure temperature and other conditions are maintained under optimal conditions. Data loggers are used in this step by leading pharma logistics companies in Sri Lanka to track temperature fluctuations. EFL 3PL utilizes IoT-based temperature monitoring systems to continuously monitor and ensure temperature levels.


Special Equipment

It is important to adhere to the cold chain standards when handling goods in the pharmaceutical industry. Healthcare Logistics service providers in Sri Lanka strictly follow guidelines, emphasizing proper handling to prevent harm to products intended for human consumption. Therefore, throughout the process, specialized equipment such as refrigerated trucks, insulated containers, and cold rooms are employed to ensure product quality and safety. Additionally, 3PL solution providers in Sri Lanka use special packaging materials to enhance proper handling.


Compliance Standards

Cold Chain Logistics Service Providers adhere to various local and international compliance standards to ensure safety. One of the pivotal certifications for 3PL service providers is Good Distribution Practices (GDP). EFL 3PL’s warehouse proudly holds GDP certification, emphasizing its commitment to maintaining high standards in the storage and distribution of goods. This certification underscores the dedication to preserving product integrity and safety throughout the logistics process.


Training & Development

Training the personnel involved in each step of the cold chain is also essential to maintain high standards. The special equipment used in the process have to be handled with care and training programs are to be designed to ensure that all staff members know how to use the products. Even the packaging materials have to be handled with utmost care. EFL 3PL employees are GDP trained to ensure that the cold chain is not broken at any point of storing, handling, or transporting.


Supply Chain Visibility

In today’s dynamic business landscape, customers demand comprehensive visibility across their entire supply chain, particularly when it comes to healthcare logistics service providers. This heightened expectation for transparency encompasses every stage of the supply chain, from the origin to the final destination. As a result, businesses operating in the healthcare logistics sector are compelled to implement robust systems and technologies that offer real-time insights and traceability. EFL 3PL facilitates its customers with real-time dashboards and applications to ensure visibility across their healthcare supply chain.

This commitment to supply chain visibility not only meets customer expectations but also plays a critical role in ensuring the efficiency, reliability, and integrity of healthcare logistics services.