As the Covid-19 crisis has shown, shipping life saving products
efficiently is critical. In this QAD Precision Report we look at the
challenges of life sciences shipping and eight important questions
to ask before choosing a parcel shipping solution.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has underlined just how important it is
for life sciences companies to ship life saving products in a timely
manner. Nonetheless, even before the global pandemic life sciences
companies were dealing with the need to send more parcels to a larger
number of destinations than ever before. Furthermore, changes in
treatments also means that life science shippers have an increasing
number of goods that need temperature-controlled or cold-chain storage
in order to ensure the product’s efficacy. As a result of these
challenges, life sciences companies have turned to technology to
assist with their parcel shipping needs.
There are a number of challenges for any company that ships its
products globally. For life sciences companies, these challenges
multiply. Medicines, tissue samples, biologics, blood and so forth
have special handling requirements. In addition, there are serious
regulatory demands on companies shipping life saving goods. Here we
look at some of the challenges life sciences companies face and the
questions they need to ask before choosing a parcel shipping solution.
Given the nature of their goods, life sciences companies have to
adhere to a number of regulatory requirements. Firstly, they must
clearly document the content of each shipment. Secondly, they need to
be able to track and trace every shipment in case of a recall.
Furthermore, they must ensure that the transportation partners they
use are able to comply with the cold-chain or temperature controlled
shipping when this is necessary. Last but not least, they must
document all of their trading partners as well.
Unsurprisingly, all of these regulatory demands impact costs.
Therefore, life sciences companies need to be able to ship their goods
compliantly but also in a cost-effective manner.
During the last recession, emerging markets led much of the growth
for life sciences companies. This is because countries like Brazil,
China, India and Mexico increased healthcare spending as a percentage
of their overall economies. Shipping to these countries presents
different challenges to shipping to established markets such as the
US, Canada and Europe.
Life sciences products are changing, which in turn means their
shipping requirements are changing too. There has long been a need for
cold-chain storage for vaccines, blood, tissue samples and so forth.
However, new specialties like biotechnology means that cold-chain
refrigeration is required for more finished products. These include
biologically based medicines, research and clinical trial materials,
drug coated implants and more.
Home health care is a growing market for life sciences products
because of aging populations in established markets. Many shipments
are now going directly to price- and time-sensitive patients, rather
than through traditional distribution channels. As a result, higher
volumes of smaller shipments are going to more places than ever
before. This has increased the need for accurate documentation and
better visibility into specialized handling.
Life sciences shipping has begun to move away from traditional
distribution methods. This means many life sciences firms have a
critical need for parcel shipping software. There are 8 critical
questions life science shippers need to ask before choosing a parcel
Does your parcel shipping software offer access to a global
Does your software provide visibility into handling capabilities
Can your software provide the documentation related to the
handling of hazardous, dangerous or infectious substances?
Can your logistics software handle regulatory requirements for
shipping controlled substances?
Does your global parcel shipping software offer access to
Does your global parcel shipping software enable compliance screening?
Can your software perform controlled partner screenings?
Does your software handle controlled substance checks?
As the life sciences industry becomes more global, ensuring that your
partners are authorized to receive shipments is critical. Life
science products may contain controlled substances or chemical
compounds. Therefore, shippers must take special care to ensure that
these shipments are not sent to unauthorized locations.
In addition to compliance checks, before any package goes out the
door, you must ensure it includes the correct
documentation. When you send sensitive substances additional
labeling and documentation is necessary to ensure proper handling all
the way to the shipment’s destination. Once the parcel has gone, you
visibility to track your shipments. Life science companies must
ensure that parcels are shipped quickly, handled properly and
The life sciences industry depends on a complex network of carriers
who can provide specialized service, such as same day delivery and
specialist hospital delivery services. Life science companies benefit
from access to a global
multi-carrier network with access to carriers with these
capabilities — wherever they ship.
To simplify their parcel shipping, life science companies need a
solution that offers all these capabilities. An ideal solution is one
that integrates compliance, documentation, multi carrier shipping
options and tracking. While it is possible to use different systems
for each of these, this results in fragmented shipping data. It also
means the need to rekey information into different systems. This is a
drain on time, and can lead to keystroke errors or critical omissions.
If you would like to subscribe to the QAD Precision Report, or would
like to receive notifications about QAD Precision events, webinars and
news, please click here.
QAD Precision, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global
trade compliance, and multi carrier transportation
execution solutions from a single, integrated platform. An
ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to streamline
and transportation operations, optimize deliveries, and increase
logistics ROI. QAD Precision’s scalable and extensible solution easily
integrates with existing ERP and WMS solutions. Industry leaders in
every region of the world rely on QAD Precision’s global support
centers to leverage thousands of carrier services and manage millions
of global trade and shipping transactions every day. For more
information about QAD Precision, visit www.qadprecision.com.