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Our Response to COVID-19

March 24th, 2020 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Our Response to COVID-19”

To our valued Customers, Partners and Suppliers,

As we assist clients and businesses who’s transportation networks are disrupted by the coronavirus situation, we are also listening and learning about how we can further co-operate with our network of shippers, carriers and forwarders to provide thermal protection and cargo security to a number of industries including: Pharmaceuticals, life-sciences, food, beverage and health care supply-chains.

 

Please reach out to us through your QProducts representative with any questions or email us at info@qsales.com for ways we can protect temp-sensitive cargo on all modes of transportation, including shelf-stable, perishable, CRT and 2-80C products.

 

Our manufacturing and shipping operations during this time will take place Monday – Thursday, from 6am-4pm CST.

 

QProducts & Services COVID-19 Cold Chain assistance

When you Buy a Product from QProducts, You Buy a Company

As valued members of the QProducts & Services family, we extend to you our commitment to the health and safety of our teams and communities as the spread of COVID-19 continues to be a growing concern domestically and around the world.

 

At QProducts and Services, we have implemented precautionary measures in alignment with our parent corporation, LANCO and the CDC’s guidelines in order to best protect our sales and production staff while continuing to do business with our suppliers, deliver for our clients, and ultimately, support the global supply chain. Including:

  • Encouraging employees to follow CDC and WHO guidelines
  • Eliminating non-essential business and personal travel
  • Minimizing risk of transmission using proper hygiene and social distancing
  • Prohibiting group meetings
  • Self-Monitoring requirements for employees and members of their households

 

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit cdc.gov or your local health department website.

 

Best regards,

coronavirus

Coronavirus and its Impact on the Global Supply Chain

March 3rd, 2020 Posted by Manufacturing, Temperature Protection, Transportation, Update 0 thoughts on “Coronavirus and its Impact on the Global Supply Chain”

Coronavirus and its Impact on the Global Supply Chain

Authors: QProducts & Services Team, Under the Direction of Paul Yadron, Sr. VP of Sales

 

 

 

While a number of new cases related to the coronavirus continues to rise in China and around the globe, the impact of the coronavirus has expanded into the U.S. energy, agriculture, and transportation sectors. From a transportation perspective, supply chains have been compromised as China’s government has worked to contain the virus. At QProducts & Services, we want to provide you with the most up to date information on what is occurring.

 

coronavirus

 

What is Coronavirus?

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses or CoV are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Lastly, the virus is zoonotic, meaning that it is transmitted between animals and people.

 

 

hong kong port

 

Coronavirus and Supply Chain Disruption

 

Since the outbreak in December 2019, the supply chain has been compromised from the China marine terminals to the inland destination points. Cargo that has been offloaded at China terminals has been backing up. Domestic freight routing has been hindered because of the measures to contain the spread of the virus. According to Talk Business, less cargo has been shipped from China to the United States as production in China has slowed because factories have been shut down to contain the virus. The lower volumes of cargo and containers have led to fewer ocean shipments to the United States.

 

Every company that ships products in and out of China has to plan and prepare for production and distribution slowdowns. Closed-off ports and delayed shipments from China are causing ocean reefer rates to increase and capacity to tighten. Less cargo has been shipped from China to the United States as production in China has slowed because factories have been shut down to contain the virus.

 

About 40% of all shipments that entered the United States in January 2020 came from China, according to Freightwaves. Now, shipments are backing up and being cancelled due to the coronavirus, limiting shipments that can enter the United States. The coronavirus has also removed about 300,000 to 350,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of demand from Chinese exports to the world, reported Talk Business. There is also a limited supply of reefer plugs in China’s ports, resulting in congestion and lack of availability.

 

global business impact

 

Solutions to the Coronavirus Impact on the Supply Chain

 

We are working to help customers around the globe find alternatives to reefers by using CargoQuilt®

and ContainerKit™ solutions. While we cannot control the delays and cancellations caused by the coronavirus, we can provide alternative solutions. Rather than eating the cost of rising ocean reefer rates, companies can still protect their temperature-sensitive cargo with passive temperature protection shipping solutions.

 

Passive temperature protection does not require the need for a power supply, while active temperature protection does. Our CargoQuilt® and ContainerKit™ solutions work by passive temperature protection, ensuring quality, safety, and efficacy of temperature-sensitive products within a pre-defined range. In addition, passive temperature protection solutions tend to have a lower cost than active temperature protection given elimination of a power supply and the fixed amount of thermal protection.

 

 

multi trip container kitFinal Thoughts

 

Shippers are watching the unfolding impact of the coronavirus closely, and many have already begun to factor delays into their supply pipelines. An ever-growing number of companies are feeling the effects of the deadly virus, with many global organizations fearful that it could get worse. Global tech giant Apple has warned of global “iPhone supply shortages” resulting from its Chinese factories closing due to the outbreak.

 

“Many companies are turning to charter flights to deal with the lack of supply, these flights have been fluctuating between $500,000 and $800,000 one way,” American Global Logistics​ said in an update emailed to Supply Chain Dive.

 

While the impact is substantial, there are alternatives to help combat the rising costs. Supply chain visibility is more important than ever as companies determine the best approach and monitor the risks involved. For now, those who proactively identify specific supply risks and manage it can potentially find solutions or help mitigate the impact.

 

global supply chain

Commodity Protection in the Global Supply Chain

February 3rd, 2020 Posted by Manufacturing, Transportation, Update 0 thoughts on “Commodity Protection in the Global Supply Chain”

Commodity Protection in the Global Supply Chain

Authors: QProducts & Services Team, Under the Direction of Paul Yadron, Sr. VP of Sales

 

 

 

 

In our global supply chain, consumable items require specialized forms of transportation and storage. Consumer tastes, legislative change, transit, deterioration, and physical damage are all factors that impact how commodities are protected and transported. In the pharmaceutical industry specifically, certain controlled room-temperature (CRT) drugs require stricter regulations and review due to the sensitive nature of the product. On the other hand, the food and beverage sector requires increased temperature protection due to consumer demand and shifting consumer tastes.

global supply chainWhat is a Consumable Commodity?

 

In the logistics space, a consumable commodity is a product that is intended to be consumed. These could be defined as coffee, dairy, or certain drugs and medicines.

 

woman in grocery store scanning oil

 

Legislative Policy on Food Commodities in the Supply Chain

 

Government regulations and procedures affect all elements of the logistics system. Many governments throughout the world have established policies on the selection of commodities such as medical products. For example, how items are procured, when items are distributed, where and how items are stored, and the quantities customers receive are all factors involved in legislative policy.

 

In the food and beverage industry, food commodities can be either raw agricultural commodities or processed commodities, provided that they are the forms that are sold or distributed for human consumption. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, a raw, agricultural commodity is defined to include the following:

  • Fresh fruits, whether or not they have been washed and colored or otherwise treated in their unpeeled natural form
  • Vegetables in their raw or natural state, whether or not they have been stripped of their outer leaves
  • Grains, nuts, eggs, raw milk, meats, and similar agricultural produce

 

In the United States, although there is no all-encompassing federal legislation regulating the packaging industry, the federal government has asserted its authority to regulate food, drug, and cosmetic packaging to preserve consumer safety and confidence. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, regulates the packaging and labeling of food. The intent of these regulations is to enhance the safety of food distributed throughout the country and keep consumers informed about the food they’re consuming.

 

From a supply chain perspective, the packaging and transportation of food commodities is highly regulated, especially at the packaging stage. Packaging materials such as plastics, coatings, papers, food colorants, and adhesives must be regulated and deemed safe for use. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it is the FDA’s responsibility to make certain that no packaging materials contaminate food, and determine if new food-contact materials, or new uses of already-used materials are safe.

 

In addition, the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, enables the FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. The primary target of FSMA is to eliminate contamination during transportation. By focusing on sanitary transportation, the FDA plans for FSMA to eliminate day-to-day practices that lead to food-safety risks, such as a failure to store food items at the appropriate temperature. Temperature protection is imperative in the food supply chain to ensure the quality of the food remains intact. According to Safe Food Alliance, FSMA will touch every segment of the produce business supply chain from farm to fork. Under FSMA, the FDA has proposed seven major regulations that affect how produce is grown, packed, processed, shipped, and imported.

 

monitoring temperature of foodLegislative Policy on Pharmaceutical Commodities in the Supply Chain

 

In the pharmaceutical industry, the quality of a pharmaceutical product’s packaging plays an integral role in preserving the quality and effectiveness of medication through its shelf life. Per FDA regulations, pharmaceutical packaging must provide protection against the following:

 

  • Exposure to light, moisture, oxygen, and variations in temperature
  • Physical damage through handling, shipping, and storage processes
  • Contamination
  • Package labeling must clearly identify the product

 

With these packaging regulations, pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs must be monitored to secure protection in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Strong pharmaceutical legislation in the logistics space not only helps to strengthen each link within the pharmaceutical supply chain, but helps ensure access to and availability of medicines.

 

Furthermore, a nonprescription medicine is one that the FDA has found to be safe and effective for direct consumer use based on the label instructions and warnings. Regulatory review of CRT drugs is conducted by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) within the FDA. These CRT drugs go through a system of active-ingredient-specific CRT monographs, which is a rulemaking process that establishes drug standards. An expert advisory panel meets to assess whether the active ingredients in the drug meet the standard of GRASE: generally recognized as safe and effective.

 

In addition to safety regulation, CRT drugs require specific temperature protection during transit. The FDA has specific regulations that define appropriate storage conditions for pharmaceuticals. The majority of CRT medications are designed to be stored in their original packaging at approximately room temperature, which can range from 15-25°C (59-77°F). However, certain refrigerated drugs must be stored and transported within 2-8°C (35-46°F), unless a medicine is deemed stable at other temperature ranges.

 

Prior to the CRT regulations mentioned, CRT drugs, or control room temperature (CRT) pharma products, were not always required to be protected as part of the cold chain. Historically, cold-chain products received some type of specialized packaging, while CRT products could be shipped with standard packaging. Around 2012, the industry experienced a revolution as managing temperatures of pharmaceutical products during shipment became more tightly regulated. Both cold-chain products and CRT products began receiving specialized packaging geared to the temperature ranges listed on the product label. With this change, the industry saw the demand for passive thermal packaging.

 

According to Pharmaceutical Commerce, cold chain means, almost universally, a 2-8°C (35-46°F) temperature range. CRT is a mixture of many different storage and shipping temperature ranges, as identified on the product label. There are significant differences in managing the logistics of the two classes of products. Nevertheless, temperature protection for ambient temperature profiles or CRT shipments became just as imperative as practices for cold chain shipments. Now, passive thermal packaging ensures these commodities maintain a specific temperature range during the shipping process by relying on a source of energy and insulation.

 

fda pharmaceuticals

 

Consumer Tastes and Commodities in the Cold Chain

 

Over the next few years, the ingredient landscape across big food chains is expected to shift considerably as more players move to sustainable, natural, and less processed alternatives, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Consumer preferences have driven this course over the last decade. Consumers want to know where their food is coming from and how it is raised. Certain food commodities will need to ship under stricter tolerances as less preservatives and fresher ingredients will require increased temperature sensitivity.

 

In addition, this generational shift in consumer taste is impacting the industry as a whole. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, millennial households are buying more unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables versus pasta and potato chips. In summary, millennials want their food quick, easy, fresh, and non-processed. Millennials also want convenience. According to Food Insight, 55% of millennials say that convenience is one of the most important factors when they are deciding what foods to buy.

 

The demand for quality and convenience has also opened up the market to meal kit delivery companies including Blue Apron, and also grocery delivery services such as Amazon Fresh. The cold chain makes all of this possible, but it’s also had to change to keep up with this demand. Without the expertise, execution, and growth of cold food logistics, none of the items mentioned above would be possible.

 

The cold chain market is expected to experience growth given this demand. According to Food Logistics, the global cold chain market is projected to grow by $3.9 billion, driven by a compounded growth of 10.8%. Transportation companies must adapt so they can safely and quickly deliver food without it going bad. Refrigerated delivery units and passive temperature protection will continue to rise. So, how do supply chains accommodate this demand?

 

 

amazon fresh truck

 

Final Thoughts

 

Passive temperature protection ensures that consumable commodities maintain a specific temperature range during the shipping process, whether that lasts hours or days. It’s in these circumstances that thermal packaging and cold chain shipping containers are used to help protect these commodities.

 

Supply chains will need to adapt and improve their processes in order to keep up with industry regulations and consumer demand.

 

Overall, commodity security and protection impacts products throughout the supply chain and the consumers that receive them and use them. Food and medicine safety have been and always will be a priority, and it begins with the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of products.

Cold Chain Council for what should be on your whiteboard for2020-2030

Prepare Your Cold Chain for the Next Decade

November 12th, 2019 Posted by Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Technology, Temperature Protection, Update 0 thoughts on “Prepare Your Cold Chain for the Next Decade”

The Cold Chain transportation experts at QProducts & Services present the 5 innovations you should include on your cold chain whiteboard for 2020-2030.

 

 

 

 

Our annual gathering of industry leaders at the Cold Chain Council for the Pharma & Chemical Industries took place October 1st, 2019 in Chicago, IL. As a result, attendees left armed with knowledge to help them strategically plan their cold chain operations for the next decade. Thus, there are many things going on socially, logistically, and environmentally to be aware of, from blockchain to medical drone deliveries.

 

In summary, here are the top 5 innovations to put on your cold chain whiteboard for 2020-2030:

 

 

Additional information and resources in regard to these technological innovations is below:

Drones

Drones that deliver blood and medical supplies are saving lives as they provide faster, efficient care by supplying medicine, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and emergency medical equipment. Drone delivery has begun to disrupt both the transportation and pharmaceutical and medical industries as they allow improved access to medical supplies, especially in rural areas. Learn more about how drone delivery and drone technology is shaping the future of these industries. For further information on this topic, please visit the following resources:

  1. Drones in Healthcare
  2. What is Drone Delivery and How is it Changing the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain?
  3. Drones Delivering Medical Supplies and More Can Help Save American Lives

 

Blockchain

The pharmaceutical industry is actively exploring blockchain technology to help with the tracking and tracing of products, product provenance, and supply chain governance. Blockchain technology also provides the opportunity to decrease costs and increase transparency and trust during clinical trials. Blockchain technology could be a major solution to a $450 billion U.S. industry. Read more about how blockchain is revolutionizing the pharmaceutical and medical industry. For further information on this topic, please visit the following resources:

  1. How Blockchain Will Revolutionize the Pharmaceutical Industry
  2. Pharma Meets Blockchain – Solution to $450 Billion U.S. Industry
  3. Five Use Cases for Blockchain in Pharma

 

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality holds the ability to visualize production processes, which could help to improve pharmaceutical manufacturing. However, the value of augmented reality not only lies in manufacturing, but in patient outcomes as well. Augmented reality is now being used to help reduce patient pain and anxiety levels in patients without the need for additional medication. Learn more about how augmented reality is transforming these industries. For further information on this topic, please visit the following resources:

  1. The Future is Mixed Reality: Augmented Reality Put to Work on Manufacturing
  2. 8 Benefits of Virtual Reality in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  3. Augmented Reality in Healthcare Will Be Revolutionary

 

IoT – Internet of Things

The pharmaceutical and medical industry is perfectly positioned to benefit from IoT, or the Internet of Things. The data collected can have a significant impact on the production and administration of pharmaceuticals, while helping to smooth logistics, eradicate recalls, and improve operational efficiency. Learn more about the IoT and its impact on pharmaceutical and medical. For further information on this topic, please visit the following resources:

  1. How is IoT Transforming the Pharmaceutical Industry?
  2. How Can the Pharmaceutical Industry Benefit from the IoT?
  3. How IoT is Revolutionizing the Pharma Industry

 

QProducts & Services extends their gratitude to the many industry experts that spoke at our event.

Together, our speakers educated attendees on how to best leverage the latest innovations for their 2020-2030 cold chain operations.

 

QProducts & Services is a manufacturer of passive temperature protection and cargo security solutions for the global supply chain. For over 25 years, they have developed innovative, cost-saving solutions for transporting temperature sensitive commodities. QProducts & Services has expanded their product line to include cargo security solutions and wireless temperature monitoring technologies. Manufactured just outside of Chicago, IL, their patented products are noted for durability, performance and reliability in protecting the integrity of shippers’ cargo throughout the supply chain.

What’s On Your Supply Chain White Board for 2020?

September 9th, 2019 Posted by Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Technology, Update 0 thoughts on “What’s On Your Supply Chain White Board for 2020?”

Top pharma executives and supply-chain tech experts to gather in Chicago for 4th Annual Cold Chain Council meeting


 

 

 

 

October 1st in Chicago’s’ Museum Campus district will mark the 4th Cold Chain Council for the pharma, healthcare and chemical industries. This educational forum will feature panel discussions and presentations by top executives and tech experts discussing the new decade ahead, trends in supply chain tech and best practices for 2020.

 

With a key focus on furthering the industry and advancing best practices in the supply chain and cold chain respectively, the main goal of the Cold Chain Council is to bring together high-level industry professionals to share in thought leadership and create a casual platform for discussion of real world challenges and solutions derived from everyday experiences of speakers and attendees alike. Hosted by QProducts & Services, there are no other sponsors, no fee to attend, and attendance is capped to provide an informal and informative feel for one afternoon in Chicago.

 

Amy ShortmanThis year’s event will be moderated by Amy Shortman, a senior executive at Overhaul Group. Her keynote will set the scene for the day’s discussion on how technology will affect traditional supply chains, the scope of our working environment and the benefits that may arise. Amy’s expertise stems from more than twenty years of pharmaceutical logistics experience. A Chartered Fellow of The Institute of Transport and Logistics, Amy has become a well-known thought leader in education and brand awareness to the healthcare and logistics industry’s need for improved compliance and cool chain management, backed by her professional career including roles in operations for a global logistics provider of clinical trials, a world-leading temp-controlled container company, supply chain security for a “Top 3” third-party logistics provider and eventually establishing a global supply chain business services company, ASC Associates Ltd, specializing in high-value and temp-sensitive freight.

 

(for Amy Shortman’s full bio click here)

 

Amy will be in good company with an impressive line-up of industry experts hailing from a diverse group of companies: Big Pharma shippers AbbVie and McKesson; the World Federation of Hemophilia; computer-aided environment-software developer Smart CAE; smart technology manufacturers SensorTransport Inc and Berlinger USA; and advanced predictive risk-analysis software developer Riskpulse. Session topics have been locked in and speakers are teaming up to lead discussions in what promises to be an informative afternoon of interactive discussion and networking. The setting overlooks Chicago’s museums and lake front to the East and impressive skyline and Grant Park to the North. Here’s a taste of the agenda and talented roster:

 

Session One: Wild Weather and Adapting to The New Norm. Lane Analysis and Risk Visibility Through Advanced Forecasting and Data Analytics. Mark Russo, SVP of Weather Operations, Riskpulse

 

Session Two: Cold Chain Tech 2020. Service, Equipment and Qualification Innovations for The New Decade.
Stefan Braun, Managing Director, Smart CAE and Stephen Dusel, Sales Manager North, Berlinger USA

 

Session Three: Big Pharma Cold Chain Report. What’s New as We Look Ahead into The Twenties?
David Ulrich, QA Director of Global Supply Chain Compliance, Abbvie and Georgios Ampartzidis, Logistics Manager-Humanitarian Aid, World Federation of Hemophilia

 

Session Four: Digitization and IoT’s Continuing Impact on the Supply Chain. Michael Dee, VP of Global Security, McKesson; Amy Shortman, Director of Product Marketing, Overhaul Group Inc.; and Sascha Peyer, Co-Founder and CCO, SensorTransport, Inc.

(Full event details here)

Cold Chain Council Chicago

 

The afternoons’ sessions conclude with an interactive discussion between attendees and speakers, including an opportunity for Q&A before wrapping up and moving on to the evenings festivities.

 

The networking portion of the Cold Chain Council agenda includes cocktails and dinner reception at the Chicago Yacht Club followed by a private yacht cruise down the Chicago River at nightfall.

 

 

 

For more information on content and key takeaways from this event, connect with event hosts QProducts & Services on LinkedIn or visit the Cold Chain Council homepage for other CCC events and an opportunity to attend.

Velociti Selected as Installation Provider for QProducts & Services®

QProducts & Services® Selects Velociti as their Power In-Lock® Installation Provider

August 7th, 2019 Posted by Technology, Update 0 thoughts on “QProducts & Services® Selects Velociti as their Power In-Lock® Installation Provider”

Velociti Selected as Installation Provider for Power In-Lock®

Technology deployment services now available for Power In-Lock®, QProducts & Services’ electronic trailer lock systems.

 

 

 

Homewood, IL  – August 7, 2019 —  Velociti Inc., a global provider of technology design, deployment and support services, has been named the provider of installation services by QProducts & Services® for Power In-Lock®, QProducts & Services’ patented, internally mounted locking system for trailers and containers.

 

“Velociti came highly recommended by some of our customers for their expertise on installations,” said Paul Yadron, VP of Sales at QProducts & Services®. “Their coverage of North America and Europe is also a perfect partnership for us because it helps us meet the needs of customers across a large geographic footprint.”

 

Power In-Lock® is a patented, electronic locking system that is mounted on the inside of the truck, trailer or container where it is impossible to tamper with or damage. The keyless system logs all door activity including date, time and personnel and can be integrated with telematics systems to provide location, remote locking and unlocking functions, and an electronic log of all activity.

 

“To help QProducts & Services’ customers effectively deploy their technology, Velociti’s network of highly experienced and qualified mobile technicians will now provide installation services for Power In-Lock electronic trailer lock systems,” said Deryk Powell, president of Velociti. “Our expertise will ensure that fleets can use the system correctly and can quickly take advantage of the benefits of the cargo security solution.”

 

About Velociti Inc

Velociti is a global provider of technology deployment services specializing in the installation and service of a broad range of transportation and networking technology products. Velociti’s experience allows enterprise level technology consumers to maximize ROI as a result of leveraging expert, rapid deployment. Velociti clients include many Fortune 500 companies from a wide variety of market segments such as transportation, retail, distribution, manufacturing, healthcare, government, education, food service and public venues. For more information visit www.velociti.com or call toll free (855)-233-7210.

 

About QProducts & Services:

QProducts & Services is a manufacturer of passive temperature protection and cargo security solutions for the global supply chain. For over 25 years, they have developed innovative, cost-saving solutions for transporting temperature sensitive commodities. QProducts & Services has expanded their product line to include cargo security solutions and wireless temperature monitoring technologies. Manufactured just outside of Chicago, IL, their patented products are noted for durability, performance and reliability in protecting the integrity of shippers’ cargo throughout the supply chain.

 

TOP 5 COLD CHAIN DRIVERS FOR 2020

August 2nd, 2019 Posted by Food & Beverage, Temperature Protection, Update 0 thoughts on “TOP 5 COLD CHAIN DRIVERS FOR 2020”

The Cold Chain transportation experts at QProducts & Services present the Top 5 Cold Chain Drivers for 2020.

 

 

 

 

Enter 2020 armed with knowledge that can help you strategically plan your cold chain operations. From cannabis disruption to wild weather, there are many things going on socially, logistically, and environmentally to be aware of. These insights are from speakers at the annual Cold Chain Council, and our internal experts at QProducts & Services.

 

Check Out the Top 5 Cold Chain Drivers for 2020 Below:

 

 

 

QProducts & Services extends their gratitude to the many industry experts that spoke at the June Cold Chain Council for the Food & Beverage Industries. Together, they educated attendees on how to best leverage these drivers in anticipation of 2020.

 

QProducts & Services is a manufacturer of passive temperature protection and cargo security solutions for the global supply chain. For over 25 years, they have developed innovative, cost-saving solutions for transporting temperature sensitive commodities. QProducts & Services has expanded their product line to include cargo security solutions and wireless temperature monitoring technologies. Manufactured just outside of Chicago, IL, their patented products are noted for durability, performance and reliability in protecting the integrity of shippers’ cargo throughout the supply chain.

Summer Shipping Mistakes to Avoid: Advice from a Temperature-Control Expert

July 10th, 2019 Posted by Temperature Protection, Update 0 thoughts on “Summer Shipping Mistakes to Avoid: Advice from a Temperature-Control Expert”

Though spring and early summer have been cold and wet throughout most of the country, warmer temperatures and sunnier days are on the way. With them comes some unique impacts from summer shipping. To get more insight on potential pitfalls, Coyote asked our very own Kevin Lynch, Director of Sales at QProducts & Services, to share some potential pitfalls. Kevin has over 17 years of experience in temperature-controlled shipping. Below is his advice.

 

 

 

 

Balancing Cost and Product Integrity

As every shipper knows, ensuring that product arrives to the customer in good condition is extremely important, but adequately protecting cargo comes at a cost. Every summer, shippers across the country grapple with a few questions:

 

  • How vulnerable is my product to the heat of the summer?
  • How much will it cost for me to implement additional temperature-control best practices?
  • Does that cost outweigh the risk of damaged and rejected product?

 

The answers will vary based on a slew of factors—there is no single solution. As you analyze your own supply chain, it’s important to consider the full spectrum of consequences that occur as a result of damaged product. Using these as a guide, you can do a cost/benefit analysis to build a temperature-controlled solution that’s right for your business.

 

 

results of damaged product during shipments

Three Common Summer Shipping Mistakes

Once you’ve set your temperature-control strategy, it’s important to keep your eye on a few potential pitfalls as you implement your plans. Here are three common mistakes Kevin sees shippers make.

 

 

Mistake #1:

Waiting until you need temperature-controlled capacity to secure it.

There are a lot of products that can usually ship in a dry van, but require temperature-control on a seasonal basis (i.e. organic snacks, pharmaceuticals, chocolate, beverages, etc.). In the summer, this typically means converting to refrigerated trailers.

The great debate for shippers is when to make the conversion. Refrigerated capacity will almost always cost more than standard dry shipping—this is especially true in the summer when reefer demand spikes with produce and other seasonal summer products. Yet damaged and refused product can be very costly. How can you keep your seasonal budget in-line while balancing cargo security?

trucks driving along highway
Best Practices:

Preparation is key.

If you ship cargo that can’t withstand a 90°F heatwave, you need to plan well before the thermometer rises. By working ahead, you can mitigate cost inflation and avoid service disruptions. Proactively reach out to your refrigerated carriers and 3PLs with forecasted needs at the beginning of the season to establish rates and service requirements.

Analyze your supply chain and look for gaps in the “cold chain” where your product is vulnerable.

Optimize your routing guide and prioritize reliable carriers. A higher rate with higher tender acceptance is still cheaper than a carrier that sends you into the spot market for a last-minute option.

Explore refrigerated alternatives, such as insulated thermal blankets. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis can open up new capacity options during the summer months.

Monitor the forecast in your shipping lanes and confirm capacity once when you see a heatwave on the horizon.

 

Mistake #2:

Assuming your LTL carrier has temperature-controlled cross docking facility.

If you ship LTL, your shipment will typically make several stops within the carrier’s terminal network throughout transit. As your product is unloaded and reloaded, it may spend several hours on the dock, waiting to be transferred. This is manageable most of the year, but during heatwaves ambient temperature inside terminals can reach nearly 90 degrees, potentially putting your goods at risk.

warehouse worker carrying boxes
Best Practices:

Ask your LTL providers about the temperature conditions at their terminals.

Collaborate with them to put a plan in place to protect your shipments from temperature excursions. Verify routing patterns, temperature requirements and product sensitivity.

If shipping refrigerated LTL, consider insulated thermal blankets to protect product temperature while on the dock.

 

Mistake #3:

Assuming the refrigeration unit will always be running.

Refrigerated trailers and containers are very reliable, but they aren’t completely infallible. Operator error, equipment failure and long delays are all potential risks to product integrity.

Operator Error: Though the vast majority of carriers comply to shipper requirements, some drivers may occasionally turn off the refrigeration unit to conserve fuel, then turn it back on before making delivery.

Equipment Failure: This is less of a concern with over-the-road shipping, as the driver has close oversight of the load and can quickly refuel or address any malfunctioning equipment. However, when shipping refrigerated ocean or intermodal, there is far less individual attention to each container, and if the unit runs out of fuel or stops working, there is much less of a chance that the carrier will resolve the issue.

Delays: Regardless of mode or lane, delays in transit are bound to happen—especially with cross-border and/or multimodal shipping. The longer the product is held up, the higher the chance that the unit will run out of fuel. The hotter the temperature, the more fuel the unit consumes and the faster the product will heat up once it runs out.

trailers for shipments
Best Practices:
  • Clearly define temperature requirements on your Bill of Lading (BOL).
  • Work with trusted providers who will follow your requirements exactly.
  • Proactively communicate product requirements with all providers involved.
  • Request an electronic log of trailer temperatures for the entire trip.
  • Include your own temperature recording device in the payload.

 

 

More Options, Less Risk

Though managing temperature-sensitive freight is never easy, there have never been more resources available to shippers: widespread tracking technology, sophisticated analytical tools, and lower-cost cargo protection equipment all empower supply chain professionals to increase shipment visibility and reduce costs.

Work with providers that take cargo integrity seriously. Talk to your supply chain providers about what solutions and services they can offer to help maintain the integrity of your products from origin to destination. By leveraging all available solutions, you can manage risk and cost simultaneously.

 

About Kevin Lynch: As Director of Sales at QProducts, Kevin Lynch leverages over 17 years of supply chain experience to design and implement temperature protection and cargo security solutions for shippers in all industries.

 

About QProducts & Services: QProducts & Services is a manufacturer of passive temperature protection and cargo security solutions for the global supply chain. For over 25 years, they have developed innovative, cost-saving solutions for transporting temperature sensitive commodities. QProducts & Services has expanded their product line to include cargo security solutions and wireless temperature monitoring technologies. Manufactured just outside of Chicago, IL, their patented products are noted for durability, performance and reliability in protecting the integrity of shippers’ cargo throughout the supply chain.

Summer Shipping Mistakes

Temperature Sensitive Freight – 5 Summer Shipping Mistakes

June 16th, 2018 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Temperature Sensitive Freight – 5 Summer Shipping Mistakes”

 

 

 

If you’re wondering where Spring went, so are we. It seemed like we transitioned straight from Winter to Summer this year.

No, we’re not just making small talk about the weather with you. We’re talking about a real problem here. We’re the temperature people, remember? The winter heated up rapidly and temperature-sensitive shipments are suffering because of it.

If you haven’t adjusted to summer shipping season yet, this is your friendly reminder to kick it into gear.

All too often, customers have contacted us after losing a load that was entirely preventable with seasonal preparation that went overlooked. Here are the five most common mistakes we see and how to avoid them.

 

Mistake #1

Waiting too long to secure capacity for seasonal mode conversions.

This can sneak up on folks who ship dry most of the year and switch to reefers in the summer for products requiring heat protection (i.e. organic snacks, chocolates, etc.).  It’s never too early to have a plan for ensuring you have trucks available. 2018 is seeing the highest reefer load-to-truck ratios in recent years; secure your capacity for the summer season as soon as possible.

 

DAT Trendlines on national reefer demand and capacity as of May 19, 2018.

 

Mistake #2

Assuming the carrier you hired will be hauling your freight.

For a shipper who is struggling to secure capacity, there’s temptation to take whatever is available, creating opportunity for the broker community. With these market conditions  you may run into carriers who combine loads or broker your shipment out multiple times. The last thing you want to find out is that your perishable foods–as an example–were shipped in the same trailer with a nonfood safe commodity (i.e. Industrial chemicals).

To prevent this, double check the language in your contracts to make sure your carrier obtains permission before brokering out your shipments.  This is especially important during peak seasons for food and beverages that have higher risk for temperature excursions in the heat. You should always be diligent when hiring carriers – especially when searching the spot market – to ensure you know exactly who will be hauling your freight in order to maintain control and visibility of your brand!

 

Mistake #3

Taking for granted the driver will keep the refrigerated unit running as required.

We love and appreciate truckload drivers, we really do.  However, like any profession, some don’t always play by the rules. It’s not uncommon for a driver to occasionally turn the refrigerated unit off to preserve fuel, then turn it back on before making delivery. With gas prices on the rise this practice becomes more and more common, especially during the summer.

Simple proactive steps can be taken to avoid this concern. Clearly define temperature requirements on your BOL, request an electronic log of trailer temperatures from the carrier for the entire trip, and/or you can even take matters into your own hands by including temperature recording device(s) in the payload.

Mistake #4

Not consulting with your LTL carrier partners about cross docking.

Your temperature sensitive commodities may be exposed to harsh heat when cross docked at terminals along the route. While this may be manageable during other seasons, the summer heat has no mercy.  It’s not uncommon for an ambient terminal to reach nearly 90 degrees in certain parts of the country.

Ask your carrier partners about the temperature conditions at terminals.  Collaborate with them to ensure a plan is in place to protect your load from temperature excursions. This is especially important for refrigerated LTL; ice cream should not be sitting on a refrigerated dock unprotected.

 

Crossdocking-Cold-Chain-Shipments-Best-Practices

Mistake #5

Shipping high value cargo on the weekends or holidays.

It might be tempting to get an order out by the end of the month and ship on weekends, but we encourage you to consider the risk of theft.

Because most facilities do not have weekend receiving hours, this results in your payload being parked for longer periods of time which increases the risk for cargo theft. Worse yet, if a theft does occur, trying to get all necessary parties connected on a weekend / holiday is far more challenging.  Another tip is to require the driver(s) to travel at least 300 miles before making their first stop.  Most cargo theft attempts take place within a shorter distance of its origin point.

Secure Cargo and Freight with Internal, Electric Locking System

Consider an electronic, internal locking system to prevent theft and tampering for high-value cargo.

With a bit of preparation, your peak season shipping schedule will run smoothly. Mitigate risk with temperature-sensitive shipments by taking action to avoid the mistakes we listed above. If this article caused more panic than comfort, rest assured that you can get back on track. Give us a call and we’ll help you out with our passive temperature protection expertise.

Cold Chain Council - Hear from industry leaders as they share insight on cold chain challenges

Food Logistics Magazine: Cold Chain Council Gears Up for 2018 Program

May 18th, 2018 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Food Logistics Magazine: Cold Chain Council Gears Up for 2018 Program”

 

 

 

This article originally appeared in Food Logistics Magazine here. Written by Lara L. Sowinski.

In 2016, QProducts & Services launched the Cold Chain Council, an annual industry gathering comprised of various stakeholders–manufacturers, retailers, distributors, logistics providers, academics and others–to discuss challenges and bets practices related to the cold chain, both for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as the combined food and beverage industry.

 

Food Logistics has partnered with QProducts for the food and beverage event since its inception. This year, I worked closely with QProducts on the program and speakers, and will moderate during the event on Monday, June 25, in Chicago.

The format and venue for the Cold Chain Council fits the need for an intimate, one-day event where executives can interact, share best practices “and walk away with new opportunities to improve their cold chain,” explains Kevin Lynch, QProducts’ director of food and beverage. “The Cold Chain Council provides a valuable experience for professionals who might not have time on their calendar to attend multi-day conferences, or simply don’t have room in their budget to fund another industry event.”

The Cold Chain Council takes place over an afternoon in order to accommodate busy schedules, he adds. “Another distinction is limiting the number of attendees, which helps folks feel comfortable having a conversation and asking questions.”

Aside from limiting the number of attendees, their is no registration fee, and QProducts generously hosts a fun networking reception on the Chicago River following the event. “This allows attendees to continue conversations and form new relationships,” says Lynch.

Delivering Fresh Content

Last year’s Cold Chain Council boasted an all-star list of presenters, including executives from Walmart, C.H. Robinson, Minhas Craft Brewery, Reinhart Food Service and CN Rail. This year’s presenters and sessions also promise to inspire and engage attendees.

Dr. Mary Holcomb, professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee, will kick off the program with an overview of the current cold chain sector, particularly from a food and beverage transportation angle.

The next session is entitled, “Foresight is 20/20: How Technology is Being Used to Quantify Temperature Risk and Guide Accurate Transportation Decisions.” Matt Wensing, CEO of Riskpulse, will join several other panelists to explore how new software and tech tools can determine actual temperature risk, and how “knowing what’s ahead” is changing the game for shippers and transportation providers.

The third panel on distribution best practices brings together Terrence Bro, director of sales-for-hire cartage at SpartanNash; John Sommavilla, CEL of Shoreline Fruit; and other as they share information on optimizing transportation strategies and tactics in the food distribution sector.

The program concludes with “A Holistic Approach to Maintaining Cold Chain Integrity,” with panelists Don Durm, vice president, customer solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing; Melanie Nuce, senior vice president, corporate development, GS1 US; and Sherea Dillon, acting director of compliance with the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, Chicago District.

Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act will be a central theme of this final session, which will also include an exciting discussion on blockchain and how this technology can take visibility and compliance to new levels throughout the global food and beverage chain.

For more information, visit www.coldchaincouncil.com.

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