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Pandemic prompts UPS to expand cold chain capability

[ May 24, 2021   //   ]

UPS is expanding its suite of cold chain technologies for pharmaceutical traffic. UPS Cold Chain Solutions will provide pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers and laboratories a full, end-to-end cold chain service offering, including storage and distribution, transportation, visibility, and quality assurance.

UPS Healthcare is expanding its cold chain storage capacities with some 390,000sq ft of coolers and freezers at its facilities to support the storage of biologics ranging from 2 degrees Celsius to as low as minus-80 degrees Celsius. It is also building two new GDP-compliant, healthcare-licensed distribution facilities in Italy and Australia, as well expanding and retrofitting cold chain equipment to facilities in the Netherlands, Czechia, Poland, Hungary and the US.

It is adding to its ground transportation fleets in Europe and offering four flexible, temperature-regulated service options for air or ocean freight that can be configured to meet the needs of the packaging used to help keep customer costs down.

Monitoring will provide “pinpoint visibility” into covered pallets, boxes, trailers and packages within 10 feet of their location anywhere in the UPS network

UPS Healthcare president, Wes Wheeler, explained: “Our customers have been taking advantage of our cold chain capabilities for years, but the pandemic caused UPS to move even faster to enhance an integrated set of cold chain solutions to support the future of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. UPS’s near-perfect, on-time delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine proves how effectively and efficiently our network handles biologically derived drugs, even at extreme temperatures.”

Chronic and life-threatening diseases, including cancers, respiratory, autoimmune and cardiovascular conditions, are the fastest growing diseases in the world, and have in turn created a rapid acceleration in the development of biologically derived, temperature-controlled drugs and therapies. According to the Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook, cold chain trends show 48% growth between 2018 and 2024 for drugs that require at least 2 to 8 degrees C storage and shipping.

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