Transporting cold and frozen goods long distances remains a service that shippers and carriers have offered for decades. While cold chain logistics enjoys a long history of innovation, it does need some significant upgrades. To handle the growing demand for COVID-19 vaccines, cold transportation fleets need to prepare sooner rather than later. Many carriers cannot yet meet the demand for shipments requiring highly specialized equipment and end-to-end traceability.
As reported by Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, vaccine distribution is not merely frozen shipments. They are super-chilled, requiring careful staging, planning, and packaging, including the use of dry ice and other materials to keep shipments at super-chilled temperatures. The cold-chain shipping carriers seizing the opportunities created by vaccine distribution have some common characteristics that all cold line transporters can emulate and become better suited for future demands within the cold transportation industry.
Tracking Freight in Real-Time and Sharing Updates Easily
Freight managers and shippers who have made the necessary preparations for these specialized loads are well-positioned to win even more business. They’ve made the investments needed to unify transportation management and other systems within their companies and with their customers. Combined with automation, these allow them to:
- Share data within the transportation network and view it in real-time.
- Guard against hackers and cyber threats with multiple lines of defense.
- Maintain open communication and transparency throughout the network.
- Preserve proactive dock scheduling and up-to-the-minute fleet monitoring.
- Meet specialized protocols and carrier requirements for vaccine transport.
- Provide regular training to team members to ensure compliance and safety.
- Use automated alerts and notifications to improve shipment security and viability.
- Monitor for delays, temperature issues, or other deviations with the shipment in real-time.
The common thread: end-to-end transparency and accountability across the entire network. That’s the distinction. Vaccine distribution losses could put people’s health at risk by delaying doses, so “getting it right” matters for reasons far beyond margins and revenue. Cold-chain shipping will help ensure the transportation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continue safely and efficiently.
The Power to Recognize Problems Early
Another critical benefit that leading carriers maximize throughout cold-chain shipping logistics is the value of predictive analytics. Having access to real-time data and accurate analysis makes it easier to spot trends in the supply chain. These trends can highlight average highs and lows within supply and demand tendencies. It can also alert freight managers and fleets to possible disruptions before they occur.
Rerouting Shipments Based on Changing, Current Road Conditions
A robust cold-chain shipping platform and real-time data tracking can help carriers better prepare and manage inventory. Advanced analytics can make it easier for managers to react and address problems. That eliminates the hours wasted waiting on phone call updates and email responses. Instead, team members can analyze data, consider possible responses at any time and without delay, and effectively reroute shipments. Most importantly, the ability to reroute shipments to meet disruptive events’ changing demands will help carriers maximize agility and flexibility – core features in a provider that can ship vaccines. Many cold-chain shipping fleets will deal with extremely sensitive loads such as vaccines. Because of this, dependability continues to be a top priority for carriers specializing in cold transportation.
Intense and Accurate Document Management
Carriers need start-to-finish visibility into shipments. Accurate tracking of orders and invoices remains a vital aspect of effective vaccine distribution. Strong networking and communication between all involved parties will ensure vaccine delivery will continue successfully. This can get achieved quickly and easily with updated cold-chain shipping processes. Knowing where and when documents are filed and recorded can help streamline the entire process. It will also help reduce communication and planning errors by ensuring data is easily accessible and shareable.
Improve Shipment Services Now
To meet the new demands and challenges of the COVID-19 vaccine, significant upgrades are needed to standard cold-chain shipping. Cold transportation fleets will need to prepare now more than ever. Automation and digitization will help ensure those fleets already able to handle these specialized loads continue to meet growing demands. Contact Turvo today to get started with automation and collaborative system upgrades to ensure your business can deliver exceptional customer experiences and prepare for the next surge in cold-chain transportation.