Celebrating 25 years of innovation

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In the early 1990’s, two visionaries identified disruptions in what would soon be known as the cold chain. These disruptions would soon challenge transportation, quality assurance, and brand integrity.

The entrepreneurs envisioned a better way to confront these breaks in the cold chain, so they unified to create a product that moved temperature sensitive goods to the end user without sacrificing supply chain flexibility.

That creation was Q-Sales and Leasing.

As Global Supply Chain Management advanced, so did we. Tour the timeline to watch the future of the Cold Chain Industry unfold.

1970's - 1990's

Source: Transport Topics
“Logistics” Begins

Global Development

Between the 1970’s and early 1990’s, the supply chain industry begins to take form as we know it today. In just a few years, the transportation industry makes great strides in efficiency with the invention of UPC codes and real-time warehouse management systems.

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In 1980, the Federal Government signs the Motor Carrier Act. Though a long time coming, the industry is shaken with competition, requiring advances in cutting transportation costs, ensuring product safety, and optimizing warehousing. Thus, the formal study of “logistics” expands from military usage to commercial trade and transportation. As the field of Logistics emerges, so too does opportunity and complexity.

The First Quilt

QProducts & Services Milestone

A native of the newly-coined “logistics” industry, inventor Bob Haberkorn realizes opportunity to cut transportation costs of refrigerated goods. In just ten years, share of containerized reefer units in maritime shipping had rose from 33% to 47%—a demand for capacity that would maintain momentum in the future, with share rapidly climbing to 75% by 2010. Haberkorn foresaw the need to decrease dependence on reefers, especially for CRT goods. He invents the first CargoQuilt® in the early 1990’s as a form of passive temperature protection for full truckloads.

Inventor Bob Haberkorn created the CargoQuilt in 1993.


First World Wide Web Page
Screenshot of the early Web running on the NeXt browser in 1993. Source: The Atlantic.
Getting Connected

Global Development

With an increasingly interconnected world came an increasingly interconnected supply chain network. Upon the CERN’s announcement to open-source the World Wide Web into public domain, the Supply Chain world sees a bright future of connectivity and increased visibility throughout the process of delivering goods.

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The Cold Chain segment of that bigger picture was coming under greater scrutiny from regulators and consumers alike in the mid to late 1990’s. With the increasing demand for food and beverage to ship coast to coast, the challenge of protecting products like beer and wine as it traveled through hot and cold climates or something as unassuming as keeping ice cream frozen from manufacturer all the way to retail outlet, became increasingly challenging as the price of transportation and length of travel increased. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers were looking for partners in the supply chain that could help keep their Cold Chain unbroken without breaking the bank.

Q-Sales is Born

QProducts & Services Milestone

The meeting of the minds that took place to create QSales & Leasing is a culmination of two classic American success stories and a gallon of ice cream. Entrepreneur Bob Haberkorn had invented a process of combining durable fabrics with a proprietary blend of insulating fiber to create his CargoQuilt® for covering a truck load of temperature sensitive freight.

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Having been approached with the challenge of keeping ice cream from becoming soft before delivery, Bob came up with Therma-Pak®, a food safe, insulated bag, durable enough to carry the weight of one or many tubs of ice cream at a time. Therma-Pak® had an impressive reputation for keeping ice cream frozen solid even under extremely hot conditions. When Jack Lanigan Sr., founder of Mi-Jack Products and the rubber tire gantry crane, heard of this he challenged Bob’s Therma-Pak to a classic trial; ice cream vs. the baking hot trunk of a car in the middle of summer. And thus, a Therma-Pak® with a gallon of ice cream in it was placed in the trunk of a car over a hot July afternoon yet, come evening, that ice cream was still every bit as frozen. Jack Lanigan Sr. bought Bob’s company and QSales & Leasing was born. Today, we still refer to our Therma-Pak sizes according to the number of 3-gallon ice cream tubs they can hold; 2 tub, 4 tub, etc.!

ThermaPak® is used for temperature sensitive shipments, primarily distribution of frozen and refrigerated items.

1995 - 1999

SCM Gets Technical

Global Development

A decade long surge in growth of information technology allows the culture of supply chain management (SCM) to shape the systematic and strategic coordination of traditional business practices globally. Leaders in IT develop the predecessor’s of today’s cornerstone Supply Chain Technologies, such as Collaborative Planning, Forecasting & Replenishment (CPFR) systems and Electronic Product Codes (EPCs).

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Companies can now coordinate all aspects of the supply chain and related information throughout the life cycle of a product all the way to the final consumer. Culminating with the seminal book Introduction to Supply Chain Management in 1999 by Robert B. Handfield and Ernest L. Nichols, Jr. which published over 25,000 copies, SCM best practices would become the way of the future.

Connecting to Panama

QProducts & Services Milestone

On February 17, 1998, The Panama Canal Railway Company was awarded a 50-year concession to rebuild and operate the line as a joint venture between Kansas City Southern and Mi-Jack Products. With QProducts & Services and Mi-Jack both being owned and operated by Lanco Group of Companies, the creation of the railway expanded QPS’s global footprint and network for customer service.

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With an investment of $80 million dollars, the revitalized railroad provides an efficient intermodal link between the Pacific and Atlantic ports and complements the existing hub transportation infrastructure provided by the Canal, the Colon Free Trade Zone, the Port terminals, highways and airports.

2000 - 2005

EPC in Enterprise

Global Development

With the establishment of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RFID tags are now being used as networking technology. Rather than simply carrying data about products and shipments, tags are now automatically communicating with manufacturers and retailers about the shipping and receiving of goods. Product identification and tracking becomes more sophisticated with the establishment of Electronic Product Codes (EPC).

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Combined with the widespread implementation of ERP systems in most large companies, the industry is becoming smarter about integration of all aspects of logistics. The result? The term Supply Chain Management (coined just five years earlier) is now recognized as its own discipline, separate than Logistics.

Products Used on CRT

QProducts & Services Milestone

QProducts visionary Bob Haberkorn re-designs his pallet covers to be more cost effective on a hunch that big pharma had identified the potential to use them on control room temperature products, accounting for huge volumes of shipments. By 2001, a forward-thinking pharma distribution company begins to use thousands of QPS PalletQuilts® to protect pallets of CRT product—ten years before CRT protection becomes a topic of industry discussion and, eventually, regulation.

PalletQuilt for Airlines

2006 - 2010

CRT is Regulated

Global Development

By 2005, only 32-48% of physicians surveyed know of the dangers of temperature excursions to the products they give to patients. As awareness begins to grow, so did the need for efficient management of the cold chain. As of the end of 2011, there are more than 30 government regulations worldwide pertaining to Good Distribution Practices (GDPs) that have been issued or updated. CRT Shipping has been transformed from standard shipping processes to compliance-ready processes and materials.

Technical Services Established

QProducts & Services Milestone

As the practice of Supply Chain Management becomes more technical, QProducts & Services does, too. Though product qualification had been occuring all along, an official Technical Services department is established to develop custom solutions, testing protocols and qualify products for customers.

Temperature Chart

2006 - 2010

New Challenges

Global Development

Within the past ten years, counterfeit drug incidents have risen exponentially. 196 incidents were reported globally in 2002. That number peaks at 2,054 incidents by the year 2010. The industry is challenged to secure their products throughout the cold chain. Innovations in cargo security locks, monitoring systems, and an increase in regulatory action take effect. The number of counterfeit drugs and security breaches declines over the next few years.

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As the environmental movement begins to focus on preventing climate change, groups dedicated to divesting fossil fuels and switching to clean energy sources put pressure on national and international governments to take action. Sustainability programs are established in corporations at large, and the Green Supply Chain is brought to new heights.

Security and Sustainability

QProducts & Services Milestone

The industry at large is making great strides in cargo security and sustainability. QPS launches a variety of products and services aimed at solving these same challenges. To address customers’ concerns about security and tampering, new features are added to the existing Power In-Lock. Going above and beyond it’s original purpose to lock trailers and containers from the inside, the lock now allows remote access via telematics software and a mobile app.

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The app allows customers to have eyes on their cargo 24/7 and restrict a driver’s access when necessary.

Beyond security, QPS is tackling sustainability. After years of logistical and infrastructure development, an Inspect, Clean, Recycle (ICR) program is launched to support international customers’ reverse logistics efforts. The program tracks CargoQuilts through the supply chain via the QuiltTracker Mobile App. The team receives Quilts back after they’ve been used, inspects them, cleans them, and–when possible–offers reuse of the quilts at discounted rates.

Product of the Month

It all started with a simple idea that tackled a complex challenge. Cold Chain is considered a science, a technology and a process and since day one QProducts & Services has been there to answer those demands with every one of our products. Today, our flagship product (CargoQuilt®) covers thousands of temperature sensitive loads as they travel through the Cold Chain uninterrupted.



Case Study: Protecting from Freeze in Sub-Zero Temperatures

CargoQuilt® protects from both heat and cold, as well as other environmental hazards.

Video: How the CargoQuilt Works

Whitepaper: Protecting CRT Pharmaceuticals