In pursuit of unbroken cold chain
Agility India organized a one of its kind industry summit on Cold Chain dedicated to the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, their challenges and achieving objective solutions through collaboration, awareness, education, and implementation of technol
Agility India organized a one of its kind industry summit on Cold Chain dedicated to the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, their challenges and achieving objective solutions through collaboration, awareness, education, and implementation of technology and best practice.
When it comes to life saving drugs storage, temperature plays a critical role in preserving the medicines. Keeping this aspect in mind Agility India conducted ‘The Un-broken Cold Chain event’ on January 31 in Hyderabad to bring stakeholders under one platform to discuss cold chain related challenges for the pharmaceutical industry and the strategy to fix the gaps. A panel discussion was moderated by Satish Lakkaraju, COO, Agility India. Other members of the panel were Shanker Iyer, Head of Cargo (Africa, Middle East & India), Swiss World Cargo India; Hemanth DP, COO (Aero Commercial, Cargo), GMR Airports; Ryan Viegas, Head of Logistics
(Asia Pacific), Teva Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Ravi Mathur, Senior Director, SCM -Head of Logistics and Central Planning, Dr. Reddy’s; Masanari Arai, Founder & CEO, Kii Corporation; Laurence Jacobi, Cargo Manager (Andhra Pradesh & Telangana), Emirates Airline; and Eric ten Kate, Vice President, Global Life Science, Agility.
Excerpts from the deliberations:
Hemanth DP: The Pharma Zone at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad is India’s first pharma terminal, and it serves only pharmaceutical products with facilities like humidity control, truck dock, and Customs examination within the temperature controlled area. But many times cargo was moved in open trucks from production unit to the airport which doesn’t serve the purpose of moving cargo in uniform temperature, resulting in rejection of consignment. In a bid to stop cargo movement in open truck, temperature controlled ULDS are on offer. Other initiatives in unbroken cold chain were securing the WHO GSDP Certification for the Pharma Zone and provision of a large tunnel X-ray machine to screen full size ULDS. The airport will have cool dollies in the near future to move temperature sensitive shipments and the truck dock will be expanded. The airport now has over 1,000 air freighter movements, and it looks to handle 140,000 tonnes of cargo in the current year, and there is a master plan to increase cargo handling capacity to 1 million tonne. Cargo terminal will have separate terminals for perishables, express cargo, pack house, and a logistics park. This is the only airport in India to have a FTZ. The airport also has an aerospace and multi-product SEZ. A major pharmaceutical company is constructing a factory to generate about 2,50,000 tonne of cargo from next year, to be exported to the US and Europe. To address large size parcels which can’t be fitted into scanners, shippers need to depute Regulated Agents at their premises who can certify and built large size units.
Masanari Arai: Kii provides IOT
platform that helps to find solutions to various problems at a much faster pace and cheaper rate. It helps to improve existing services for a user leading to better revenues. An export consignment passes through various intermediaries and the IOT platform keeps all stakeholders informed via a dashboard about critical information in real time like location of the package and the storage temperature. For example, pharmaceutical exporters face challenge of spike in temperature because many times handling staff forget to close the container doors. In such case the IOT platform can raise an alarm whenever container doors are left open. As a result the users can find solutions on their own. It helps to collect data, analyze and improve services.
Agility has started using the
Kii IOT platform on trial basis at Hyderabad and Mumbai to track consignments. Another stake holder at the event was Algor Supply Chain Solutions, which is the trucking partner for Agility.
Virendra Chaudhary, Director, Algor: Algor is more focused into vaccination distribution, transportation of formulations, intermediates, and APIS. The company provides services at most of the pharma SEZS and nearby airports in India. It offers the option to users to keep track of Gps-enabled consignment location and temperature through mobile phone.
Udit Mangal, Business
Manager- Healthcare, Pluss Advanced Technologies: Despite the advancement in technology globally 25 per cent of medicines are wasted. The available technologies in temperature controlled packaging are either complex or ineffective or expensive. The aim of the company was to develop device which are effective to attain the goal of unbroken cold chain by providing about 120 hrs of temperature controlled storage. The company displayed Celsure boxes which are designed to operate in tropical climate condition in India.
After the presentations, Satish Lakkaraju moderated a panel discussion on ‘The Unbroken Cold Chain’. Lakkaraju informed the gathering that there are future plans to start similar industry initiatives in Mumbai to address challenges faced by ocean freighters. He said the initiative is more effective to address the issues faced by the stakeholder as it is an industry initiated event. The objective was to bring together all partners in the cold supply chain to discuss challenges and ways to resolve them. Among others, Maritime Gateway was one of the media partners which came in support of the event. Apart from which ISCM was the education partner at the event.
Ryan Viegas: The focus should be equally on export products and imports. A significant volume of import cargo like active ingredients require temperature controlled movement. But many times even in case of ingredients inside bottles and plastic packs are mishandled and opened which needs to stop. It is time to give importance to provide unbroken cold chain to import goods as well.
Dr. Ravi Mathur: A major concern for pharma exporter or importer is temperature incursion and excursion for a consignment during transit. The threat of outside temperature variation is higher as pharma products move through geographies with widely varied temperature. While the passive temperature control solutions are useful but these products are more focused on temperature excursion but the importance is not given to address temperature incursion. The unbroken cold chain is a myth but damage could be minimized by putting in place a quality system that reacts and raises a red flag when there is an anomaly in prescribed temperature, identify the root cause and fix it.
Laurence Jacobi: There have been rarely any instances where all the stakeholders in the supply chain, including shipper and airport developer collectively discuss the requirements before construction of a new infrastructure. A CAPA is much more comprehensive than just the airline acting on the corrective and preventive actions. All stakeholder need to perk up service quality to achieve the goal. It should be left to the discretion of shipper to chose passive or active temperature control unit.
Shankar Iyer: Typically, cargo is moved from warehouse to the staging about 120 minutes before being loaded into the aircraft, and there are speed limit for vehicles moving the cargo inside the airport which result in exposing of cargo to the outside temperature. Hence, active cooling should be preferred in case of critical products like pharmaceutical. Reduction in cargo handling procedures and time, and live update about status can help to bring down number cargo rejection incidents.
Pradeep Panicker, Deputy CEO, GMR HIAL was the chief guest for the event and Mohammed Esa, SVP, Global Business Development, Agility, was the guest of honour. Some of the other key takeaways from the event were: Need for compliances, partnership between stakeholders, need for all stake holders to have an understanding of requirements of quality system.
Members of the panel (left to right): Ryan Viegas, Head of Logistics (Asia Pacific), Teva Pharmaceuticals; Hemanth DP, COO (Aero Commercial, Cargo), GMR Airports; Laurence Jacobi, Cargo Manager (Andhra Pradesh & Telangana), Emirates Airline; Masanari...
Satish Lakkaraju, COO, Agility India, moderating the session