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Reefer containers shortage: how it impacts the pharmaceutical industry

When the public and private health sector relies on reefer containers.

The reefer shortage that has recently caught the attention of the global market, as previously addressed in this article, has had a disastrous impact on the reefer sector and the cold chain in general.

However, since manufacturers from different and distinct industries rely on refrigerated containers to run their businesses and enhance their range of distribution, from private research centers to public health authorities, to think this challenging situation affects mostly perishable shippers is to underestimate this growing issue.

Among the sectors involved, the first one that comes to mind is, without a doubt, the pharmaceutical industry, which has lost thousands of dollars in damaged or wasted stockpiles in the past year alone.

High-quality reefer containers, generally equipped with cutting-edge devices that monitor temperature variations, are ideal for keeping the optimal conditions for shipping products that may deteriorate, keeping them undamaged despite external threats until they reach their final destination.

Because pharmaceutical transportation has consistently shifted to reefer containers, favoring rental over purchase in most cases, it is fundamental that these units are compatible with medicines, vaccines, and other medical products to deliver.

In short, when reefer units provide clients with advanced technologies, such as security systems and accurate geographical tracking, the quality of the shipped products is supposed to remain untouched from start to finish.

Unfortunately, maintaining humidity and temperature levels isn’t the only factor to consider in order to prevent products from expiring or altering their properties.

Even though transportation companies are expected to ensure on-time deliveries, the current circumstances present a different, unfavorable scenario. And this is when the recent reefer shortage enters the picture.

Even though a large portion of Covid19 vaccines is being shipped through air freight to meet tight deadlines, the same can’t be said of other pharmaceutical and medical devices, which may not reach their destination because of delays and bottlenecks in ports.

Article by Susanna Belleggia.

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