Wednesday 26th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Online temperature monitoring for airfreight

Kuehne + Nagel (K+N), together with KLM Cargo, has continuously retrieved and uploaded to the Internet temperature data for a pharmaceutical airfreight shipment. The ability to seamlessly monitor a consignment’s en-route temperature online is a novelty in the logistics industry and marks a significant step in the development of innovative, Cargo 2000-based cold chain solutions.

The transport of pharmaceutical goods places high demands on a logistics provider, as product-specific climatic conditions have to be assured throughout the process chain. In the past, the en-route retrieval and online display of data from a temperature recording device stored inside an airfreight cool container was not possible.

Early this year, K+N together with KLM Cargo became the first logistics provider to successfully read and transmit temperature data for a pharmaceutical airfreight shipment throughout transport. A consigment of cholera vaccines from Swedish manufacturer SBL Vaccines to a major pharmaceutical company in Canada served as test shipment. The sensitive products needed to be kept within a specified temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius.

Within the scope of the project, K+N equipped two airfreight cool containers with special temperature recording devices. Even after closing and sealing the containers the logged data could be retrieved and transmitted to an Internet platform via a laptop running special software.

At around ten Cargo 2000 checkpoints, from Stockholm via Amsterdam and Toronto to the consignee, the shipment’s status was checked, and logged data was retrieved from the temperature recorders and evaluated. All parties involved in the project could monitor the continuous temperature curve via the Internet. In the event of any deviation it is thus possible to proactively take corrective measures.

Marcel Fujike, vice president product management airfreight at K+N, was pleased with the project’s success: “This know-how will enable us to provide companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry with considerable added value as regards transport reliability and product quality.”

Sanjay Tiwari, drector – pharmaceutical logistics for KLM Cargo, adds: “Customers are increasingly seeking detailed shipment information along the transport chain. This particularly holds true for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Working closely with Kuehne + Nagel, and by additionally monitoring temperature data at multiple checkpoints, we will be able to offer such companies a high level of door-to-door transparency in cold chain solutions.”