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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Shipping Pharmaceuticals

June 22, 2020 Couriersame day logistics

The pharmaceuticals market was worth $934.8 billion in 2017. Experts estimate it to grow to more than $1,170 by 2021.

Customer demand is constantly on the rise. This means there are a lot of pharmaceuticals needing transportation.

The process of pharmaceuticals transportation is a lot more difficult than you think. Continue reading to find out seven things you didn’t know about transporting pharmaceuticals.

What is Pharmaceuticals Transportation?

Pharmaceuticals transportation refers to the shipping of medications and other health-related substances. These materials must be shipped at several intervals before they reach the consumer.

Pharmaceuticals might be shipped from the manufacturer to the distributor. They can be shipped to the customer from either the manufacturer or distributor. Hospitals and doctors also make use of pharmaceuticals transportation.

Companies that work at transporting these materials need to know a lot. It isn’t easy, like mailing a letter. Below we look at seven things most people don’t know about transporting pharmaceuticals.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Transporting Pharmaceuticals

The process of transporting or shipping pharmaceuticals is not easy. Many people don’t realize it’s a highly complex process. Continue reading to find out just how complex it is.

1. You Must Maintain Appropriate Temperatures

Most pharmaceuticals are delicate and need very specific temperature ranges. If they fall out of these temperature ranges, they’re no longer stable. This means they either won’t work or could potentially harm the person who takes them.

To keep appropriate temperatures, pharmaceutical drivers need to maintain “cold chain logistics.” This basically means the materials can never leave their specific temperature ranges. They have to be kept cold.

To maintain proper stability, most (not all) pharmaceuticals need to remain between 55 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Some might even need to be kept colder. This is why pharmaceutical shipping requires refrigerated trucks.

2. The Proper Packaging is Vital

Using the proper packaging is as important as maintaining temperature. Many medications can’t be exposed to direct sunlight or they become unstable. Plus, the right packaging can add an extra layer of temperature protection.

Most pharmaceuticals are shipped in thermal containers. These help maintain temperatures. They’re also thick enough to prevent direct sunlight from affecting the medication.

Pharmaceutical shipping companies often use special thermal pallets. This adds yet another layer of protection. When it comes to pharmaceuticals transportation, you can never be too cautious.

3. Cargo Theft is a HUGE Risk in Pharmaceuticals Transportation

The majority of stolen pharmaceutical products are taken while on the road. Most thefts occur because people are looking to resell them on the street.

Usually, cargo theft occurs when the vehicle is left by itself. This might be in rest areas or when the driver has to stop for any other reason. This leads us to number four…

4. High-Risk Shipments Need Two Person Teams

Certain pharmaceutical items are at a higher risk of theft than others. A prime example is narcotics, which are addictive. They fetch a good price on the streets and are easy to get rid of.

There are other materials or medications which might be in high demand. Generally, the more addictive or expensive a product is, the higher the risk of theft.

For this reason, certain shipments need two-person teams. This allows one person to stay with the vehicle at all times, even during stopovers. Both team members need to remain on high-alert for theft.

5. Drivers Need To Be Knowledgeable On What They’re Shipping

Many pharmaceutical items will need shipping. Each of these items can have different shipping requirements.

The shipping requirements might align with FDA regulations for a specific substance. Some substances might even be considered HAZMAT.

By understanding the materials, drivers can ensure both their safety and that of the pharmaceuticals. Mistakes can happen when a shipment driver doesn’t understand the requirements of what they’re handling.

6. Time is Everything

Medications are time-sensitive. They have limited shelf lives and delicate chemical compositions. For this reason, the shipping process needs to be speedy.

The issue of time is one of the reasons pharmaceuticals are seldom shipped via regular post. They often use a special courier service that can transport items quickly from one place to the next.

7. Some Drivers Need HAZMAT Certifications

The term “pharmaceuticals” can refer to a wide range of different substances. Some of these are classified as HAZMAT. The people transporting these substances need to get special certifications.

Why?

HAZMAT refers to materials that pose a danger to public health and safety. If the containers were to shatter, it could release deadly liquids or toxins into the environment. HAZMAT training ensures drivers understand how to handle these situations.

What Happens if Something Goes Wrong in Shipping?

If something goes wrong during shipping, the most obvious issue is the medications may no longer work. In the case of certain substances, it might also cause a safety hazard.

But what if a shipment is stolen or irrevocably damaged? There are major consequences.

The patients who are depending on their medications might not receive them. Pharmacies, hospitals, and doctor offices only have so much on hand. Some people can’t live without their medications.

Another issue is that pharmaceutical companies can lose a lot of income. This can negatively affect the entire business, even if only in the short term.

Find A Shipping Partner Today

Working with delicate, time-sensitive materials like pharmaceuticals? You need a shipping company you can trust. Not just any company will do. It has to be a company with ample experience in pharmaceuticals transportation.

Do you want to find out more about pharmaceuticals transportation? Looking for a courier service to transport your delicate materials?

Contact us today. One of our trained associates will be more than happy to assist you.