The growing need for fresh, temperature-controlled goods like pharmaceuticals will spike in coming years, with the global insulated shipping market expected to expand by 9.4 per cent between 2017-2026 according to Transparency Market Research. This is compounded by the fact that 70 per cent of leading pharmaceutical products require temperature-controlled shipping (as of freight operators iContainers).
Businesses wanting to tap into this growing demand will need to be wary of the stringent health and safety regulations that govern the pharmaceutical industry. In shipping perishable medications, the overheads and cost of failure are high – so logistics managers need to know how to best ship their temperature-controlled goods.
70 per cent of pharmaceutical products require temperature-controlled shipping
Eco Pallets offer a range of plastic pallets for the shipping and logistics sector – with plastic an excellent alternative to wooden pallets when it comes to shipping pharmaceuticals.
Ensuring hygiene standards
Plastic has a number of advantages over wood that make it better for an industry as focused on hygiene compliance as pharmaceutical shipping:
- Plastic isn't porous like wood, so can't absorb moisture or bacterial contaminants.
- Insects can lay eggs in wood, contributing to rotting pallets or damaging your pharmaceutical goods.
- Plastic can be far more easily cleaned and sanitised, keeping your operations compliant with pharmaceutical industry standards and biohazard laws worldwide.
Another big part of maintaining hygiene standards in pharmaceutical shipping is temperature control. Many perishable products are required to be shipped at extremely low temperatures, sometimes as low as -150 degrees celsius according to iContainers. While wood can be prone to warping in extremes of temperature (due to the expansion and contraction of trapped moisture), plastic remains durable no matter the extremes.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the bar for failure is extremely low – so you need to make sure your operation is working to peak efficiency. If your wooden pallets become compromised, decontamination is a time consuming process that can imperil the quality of your goods and set you behind schedule.
Similarly, damage to your wooden pallets will also daily timely delivery. Picture the scene: you arrive at your goods' destination and start to unload, only to find your wooden pallets have been cracked due to impact during transit. Your pharmaceutical goods have been spilled everywhere, and hygiene regulations stipulate these are now unusable.
A situation like this could cost your operations thousands in wasted stock and time – yet logistics operators still stick with wood. Plastic is robust on impact, with 'give' meaning it won't splinter. It is your ticket towards a more reliable delivery chain.
Warehouse and storage efficiency
A shipping pallet that is resistant to contamination and durable during transit is worth nothing if it is not designed for warehouse efficiency too. We have a huge range of plastic shipping pallets with a variety of characteristics, including:
- Stackable or nestable options;
- Access through either two or four entry points; and
- Different load limits and surface areas.
A durable shipping pallet resistant to contamination is worthless if it isn't designed for warehouse efficiency too.
But despite our diverse catalogue, all our products are designed with warehouse efficiency in mind. Uniform in surface and size within a range for easy storage, their smooth surface also means they cannot cause injury to logistics workers or delivery people by splintering.
Gearing up shipping pharmaceuticals for the future
Sue Lee, global technical portfolio manager for World Courier, predicts a future in which the pharmaceutical and logistics industry develop together, ''It's safe to say that as pharmaceutical products grow more diverse, supply-chain technologies must become more advanced to support individual needs.''
Our advanced range of plastic shipping pallets will save you time and money, and ensure you stay industry-compliant. Tolerance for failure is low, so you need to ensure your shipping pallets are as worthy an investment as the rest of your operations. To discuss what products suit your operations, contact the Eco Pallets team.