Supply Chain Risk: COVID-19’s Continued Impact on Airfreight and Cold Chain Logistics

August 10th, 2021 Posted by Air, Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Supply Chain Risk: COVID-19’s Continued Impact on Airfreight and Cold Chain Logistics”

Author: Tony Dellumo, Marketing Manager at QProducts & Services


Supply Chain Risk: COVID-19’s Continued Impact on Airfreight and Cold Chain Logistics


By Tony Dellumo – Marketing Manager, QProducts & Services


Prior to COVID-19, 20K airplanes were in the air globally, on any given day. According to Time Magazine, when COVID-19 hit, 16K were grounded. In the U.S. alone, air travel dropped 95%. Globally it dropped 62%,  thus effectively stopping air cargo transportation as we know it.


In the meantime, the need for medication, medical devices, PPE, food, water, and other necessities remained. We started seeing passenger aircraft being repurposed into cargo aircraft along with other efforts to try and keep the supply chain moving. Eventually, capacity for the transportation of goods across all modes of transportation, was at an all-time low.


Shortage of equipment like temp-controlled containers, major delays, and high prices stacked up to create tough scenarios for companies trying to keep their products moving out the door while maintaining product integrity and delivering in a timely manner. Delays were persistent and were scattered throughout the shipping process. “You could still book airfreight, but the carrier wasn’t showing show up in one or two days anymore. It could be six to seven days later before your freight went out the door. Once arriving at the airport, what once was a one or two-hour holding time had turned into six or seven hours before your cargo made it into the airport,” says Jim O’Donnell, Director of Pharma and Chemical Logistics at QPS. “This due to lack of staff, increased security protocols, etc., according to truck drivers.” With the tarmac backed-up with many flights’ worth of airfreight, cargo was subjected to double, even triple the normal tarmac time, putting freight at risk to the elements such as sun, wind, and moisture.


Manufacturers shipping by air were forced to use more robust protection to maintain temps with longer tarmac times. With even an extra half or full hour of tarmac time, the impact of the sun can be extreme. It seemed that shippers were scrambling to figure out how to work around delays by even changing the mode of transportation. Switching to ocean freight was an option but weighing longer transit times with quality risk and the customer service impacts of both, was yet another factor shippers were taking into consideration. With capacity for temperature-controlled shipping at its lowest levels compounded by COVID-19 vaccine distribution, passive thermal protection, a long-proven but under-utilized temp-control solution, was quickly becoming the saving grace of the global cold chain not only on the tarmac but over land and sea as well.


Fast forward to summer 2021. The supply chain landscape has changed forever. While transportation networks have adapted, adjusted, and even evolved into better versions of themselves in many ways, these impacts are still being felt and navigated around in a major way. With the COVID-19 Delta Variant now sweeping the mostly un-vaccinated globe, new lockdowns and travel restriction threaten to tighten the noose around the global supply chain once again, and companies with agile, flexible, and smart transportation networks will have the upper hand.


To find out how QProduct & Services can help give your transportation network the elasticity it needs to navigate obstacles in your supply chain, click here and tell us about your unique shipping challenges.


Wonder how COVID-19 provided an opportunity for cargo thieves? Check out the infographic here.

covid19 vaccine

Cold Chain Capacity Crisis Looms Ahead of COVID-19. Are You Prepared?

November 20th, 2020 Posted by Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Cold Chain Capacity Crisis Looms Ahead of COVID-19. Are You Prepared?”

Author: Tony Dellumo, Marketing Manager at QProducts & Services


Top players from cold chain logistics’ pharma, biologics, and the life sciences sector sound alarm on the upcoming burden on temperature-controlled shipping capacity as the global supply chain plans for the safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines require strict temperature management, some as cold as -20 to -30° C.


As states begin to release their draft COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans, the vaccine cold chain requirements from manufacturer to patient present the biggest challenge these supply chains have seen throughout the course of this pandemic.


Compounded by the estimated 6.4 billion flu vaccines manufactured and distributed globally every year, the hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses needed in the U.S. and tens of billions worldwide threaten to stretch temp-controlled resources thin due to the variety of stringent temperature guidelines attached to different types of COVID-19 vaccines in development. The leading candidates belong to the mRNA category of shots, touting an impressive storage/distribution requirement of -94⁰F, with only a 24-hour allowable excursion for refrigerated temperature exposure. Other protein sub-unit vaccines are capable of refrigerated storage for months, yet others garner temperature requirements of -4⁰F.


For those familiar with the escalating prices of temperature controlled air freight and ground transportation due to the normal increase in demand, service cost, and the additional stress of ongoing pandemic related issues, the need to scramble for alternatives under the pressure of vaccine distribution can be a stark reality. Inevitably, everyday temp-sensitive cargo will be squeezed out of their place in line for temp-controlled equipment, forcing shippers to become flexible in how they manage their logistics moving into 2021 and beyond.


How to Remain Flexible in a Capacity Crunch


Equipment Selection for the Right Products at the Right Time


  • Identify when you can ship safely without temperature-controlled equipment, utilizing passive thermal protection (i.e., pallet covers) to eliminate possible excursions, dry equipment during times when environmental risk is low enough, or a combination of both to avoid delays and service disruption.
  • Use what you know about your product specs, your shipping lanes, and your service providers.
  • Examine lane risk using weather data and product data of each shipment ahead of scheduling.


Protection on the Tarmac Without Paying for Active Containers


  • Reflective pallet covers with varying levels of insulation can maintain product temps for hours on the tarmac.
  • Add phase change materials like gels and pre-condition for pallet-shipper protection without the pallet shipper prices.


Transportation Mode Selection


  • Now is a good time to explore switching from air to ocean where applicable. It’s less expensive and more available with temp-controlled service.
  • Ocean freight excursions can be eliminated using breathable pallet covers that maintain pallet temps in refrigerated containers during off-shore and on-shore power outages.
  • Check out full container protection in the form of CargoQuilt®or Container Kit


QProducts & Services provides flexibility and alternatives to shipping temperature-sensitive freight by utilizing passive thermal protection and cargo security, including providing pallet protection for COVID-19 vaccine trials. For over 25 years, we have served the pharma, life sciences, and healthcare industries, helping in the safe distribution of CRT and 2-8⁰C products. With our ear to the ground throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked to continue manufacturing our American Made products full-time, in a commitment to keeping the supply chain and cold chains moving so people can get the healthcare products, medicine, and food they need every day despite COVID-19 disruptions. In hosting our Cold Chain Council webinars for our community of cold chain professionals from all industries, we invite you to join our Cold Chain Council LinkedIn group to share your insight on current challenges in your cold chain and add to the conversation!


Our most recent webinar featured Georgios Ampartzidis from the World Federation of Hemophilia and Ed De Reyes of Sabrewing Aircraft Company. They discussed ways to ship temp-sensitive and life-saving medications to remote and underdeveloped regions of the world. Interested in learning more? Listen to our webinar recording.


Still have questions? Feel free to contact us directly at

covid-19 impact on supply chains & businesses

COVID-19 Impact on Supply Chains & Businesses | Survey Results

November 13th, 2020 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “COVID-19 Impact on Supply Chains & Businesses | Survey Results”

Authors: QProducts & Services Digital Team, Under the Direction of Paul Yadron


The impact of COVID-19 is still being felt by businesses and supply chains around the world. We surveyed 138 supply chain professionals and 80 percent of respondents indicated that COVID-19 has personally impacted their business.


Respondents that were impacted were further bucketed into categories based on their answers into topics such as demand for goods and services, financial variations, modes of transportation, capacity constraints, and more. Some reported experiencing the impact in several areas, therefore, percentages do not equal 100 percent.


Below are the survey results, which show where the impact of COVID-19 is being felt by supply chain professionals:



  • Transit time delays for ocean and air shipments
  • Cancellations
  • Delayed deliveries



  • Drastic decrease in demand from food processors and restaurants means that growers and food service suppliers are inundated with excess supply



  • Disruption across all modalities
  • Route changes
  • Increased usage of multi-modes
  • Decrease in air transport



  • Tight capacity for international air and ocean shipment



  • With a bottleneck in supply chain from farm to table, federal programs such as the Farm to Families initiative has alleviated lost revenue for food growers and suppliers.



  • Companies are experimenting with work from home (WFH)
  • Adjusting schedules and shifts to accommodate social distancing
  • Focusing on safety and prevention



  • Increased client engagement
  • More digital communication
  • Drivers are not allowed on docks
  • Postponement of audits



  • Seizing this opportunity to try new things and change course
  • Several people reported a shift from food service to retail in order to survive
  • Increase in the usage of automation instead of relying on humans



Planning for the Future


Rarely have supply-chain leaders faced more complex, changing conditions than they have during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey, supply chain disruptions lasting a month or longer now happen every 3.7 years, on average. Global manufacturing has only just begun to adopt a range of technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced robotics, and digital platforms. Most companies are still in the early stages of their efforts.


To survive and overcome changes in the supply chain environment, organizations need to plan for the future and adapt in order to have the ability to respond quickly to change.



Final Thoughts


Our team of temperature protection experts here at QProducts and Services is here to provide solutions to fit your adapting supply chain.


In our November 2020 webinar, Using New Tech and Adaptive Logistics to Deliver Sensitive Medicine to Remote and High-Risk Destinations, we invite you to join us as we dig deep into drone delivery, emerging UAV technology, and tackling extreme cold chain and supply chain challenges.

Gathering Good Data During Real World Temperature Testing | Cold Chain Council Podcast

October 19th, 2020 Posted by Podcast, Update 0 thoughts on “Gathering Good Data During Real World Temperature Testing | Cold Chain Council Podcast”

Pete Mirabella and Tony Dellumo of QProducts & Services talk about real world temperature testing in your supply chain and how to gather good data. 

The Importance of Real World Temperature Testing | Cold Chain Council Podcast

October 19th, 2020 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “The Importance of Real World Temperature Testing | Cold Chain Council Podcast”

Pete Mirabella and Tony Dellumo of QProducts & Services talk about the importance of real world temperature testing. 

Sustainability Packaging | Cold Chain Council Podcast

October 19th, 2020 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Sustainability Packaging | Cold Chain Council Podcast”

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Cold Chain Council Podcast! In this episode, Pete Mirabella and Rebecca Rossi from QProducts and Services discuss sustainable packaging, life sciences, and healthcare. Learn more about the factors that drive QProducts and Services to implement sustainable packaging and practices into the products that they build.

Pilot | Cold Chain Council Podcast

October 19th, 2020 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Pilot | Cold Chain Council Podcast”

Welcome to the Cold Chain Council Podcast series! Hosted by  QProducts & Services, we’ll be discussing challenges, innovations, and solutions to shipping temperature-sensitive products in your supply chain. Tune in to learn more about how to keep your supply chain, and more importantly your cold chain, secure and moving.



cold chain council

Cold Chain Council Introduces A New Webinar: How to Collaborate with CMOs to Boost Efficiency and Overcome Capacity Challenges in a Complex Supply Chain

September 3rd, 2020 Posted by Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Technology, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Cold Chain Council Introduces A New Webinar: How to Collaborate with CMOs to Boost Efficiency and Overcome Capacity Challenges in a Complex Supply Chain”

Cold Chain Council Introduces A New Webinar: How to Collaborate with CMOs to Boost Efficiency and Overcome Capacity Challenges in a Complex Supply Chain

Published on: September 2020


Hazel Crest, IL

Release: May 2020

For immediate release.



The Cold Chain Council, hosted by QProducts & Services, is hosting their second webinar of 2020: How to Collaborate with CMOs to Boost Efficiency and Overcome Capacity Challenges in a Complex Supply Chain. Industry-leading speakers will provide insight and discussion about partnering with Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) to better manage capacity and risk, promote innovation, and improve efficiency when dealing with complex pandemic scenarios.


We invite you to join us on Tuesday, September 29th, at 11 AM CST as our speakers share examples and insight about partnering with Contract Manufacturing Organizations amid a new evolution of the supply chain. Register here for the upcoming webinar.


Industry-expert speakers will include:


  • Luiz Barberini, Operations Manager, External Manufacturing Latin America Head at Bayer. MBA, mechanical engineer, CQE, APICS CSCP and CPIM certified with three post-graduates in Marketing, Logistics, and Transports, Luiz has worked for more than 25 years in activities related to Supply Chain, Procurement, and Logistics. He also teaches Negotiation, Supply Chain, and Demand Management for some major post-graduation schools in São Paulo.


  • Jeff Tucker, CEO of Tucker Company Worldwide. Jeff Tucker is a third generation CEO of Tucker Company Worldwide, America’s oldest privately held freight brokerage specializing in complicated freight, like temperature-controlled, oversized, and high-value, high-security goods. Jeff is past chairman of the board for the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). He also co-authors and chairs the committee for TIA’s Carrier Selection Framework.



Cold Chain Council began three years ago to gather top talent from all phases of the cold chain – including manufacturers, retail, distribution, and logistics partners – to share their perspectives on existing challenges and best practices. In 2020, we have taken our format from live, in-person events to live webinar events to safely continue and expand our ability to gather around industry experts to tackle the challenges and issues at hand. Visit and join the Cold Chain Council group on LinkedIn to engage and stay informed regarding industry topics and future Cold Chain Council events.



Contact Information:
Anthony Dellumo
Marketing Manager, QProducts & Services
Hazel Crest, IL

drone delivery

Cold Chain Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries

September 1st, 2020 Posted by Technology, Temperature Protection, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Cold Chain Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries”

Cold Chain Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries

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


The cold chain, or the temperature-controlled supply chain, is essential to many industries. For successful transportation or post-harvest in any industry, the cold chain is a necessity. In developing worlds or third world countries specifically, major developments have been observed while some major challenges still exist.



The Growth of the Cold Chain in Developing Countries


The growth of the cold chain capacity in developing regions varies from country to country. According to Semantic Scholar, world total cold chain capacity in the last decade has increased. In the developing world, it more than doubled in India, increased 66 percent in Brazil, and 20 percent in China. In most developing countries such as South Africa, Mexico, and Kenya, the cold chain is concentrated in the urban centers and transport terminals, such as airports.


rural road in developing country


Maintaining a Secure Cold Chain for Life-Saving Pharmaceuticals


At QProducts and Services, we understand that there are many obstacles to delivering consumer goods, medicines, food, and other necessities to developing regions of the world. To overcome these obstacles, it takes a combination of supply chain expertise, creativity, and understanding of the culture.


For instance, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) has expanded its reach globally into more than 70 countries, and the challenge of safely delivering critical medication to patients in remote regions of the world presents a host of challenges.


In underdeveloped areas with poor infrastructure, primitive airports, and little regulation, the responsibility falls on the WFH to maintain a secure cold supply chain and to meet the criteria of its donor companies. This includes the stability guidelines that come with the medicine they are providing for distribution to patients often found in some of the hottest regions of the world.


Keeping these life-saving pharmaceutical drugs within allowable temperature ranges as dictated by stability studies from each manufacturer is the greatest risk to the integrity and safety of the donated medicine. The most cost-effective way to secure compliance continues to be their use of PalletQuilt®, a form of passive temperature protection. PalletQuilt® enables WFH to ship these 2-8°C pharmaceuticals to locations such as Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and South East Asia without conventional temperature control and without compromising the safety and integrity of both the medicine itself and the patients who rely on it.


QProducts and Services’ PalletQuilt® solution offers the reflective radiant barrier and robust insulation needed to stand up to the harsh conditions and keep the donated drugs safe. Georgios Ampartzidis, WFH Logistics Manager states, “By using PalletQuilts for the past year to donate and ship pharmaceutical products to more than 70 countries, we completely avoided temperature deviations that would risk the integrity and safety of the donated products.”



Increasing Cold Chain Reach to Developing Countries with Drone Delivery


Drones that deliver blood and medical supplies are saving lives as they provide faster, efficient care by transporting and supplying medicine, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and emergency medical equipment in rural areas.


Zipline International, a health-tech drone delivery company, recently announced it has officially expanded its operations to Ghana, making it the world’s largest autonomous medical drone delivery service.


According to Biopharma-Reporter, drones can deliver cold chain medicines and vaccines to hard-to-reach areas by tapping into real-time data analysis. The potential for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to complete cold chain delivery was tested during a pilot program in 2019. The trials were conducted fully autonomously with cold chain delivery technology, enabling the temperature control of medicines and vaccines at temperatures as low as -70°C. The drone flew over open water between the Bahamian Islands, and testing will continue in Africa and Latin America.


The data collected during the successful flights has shown everybody involved, the power of IoT (internet of things) to provide full visibility of the cold chain, even in the most extreme environments while using innovative transportation modes,” stated Richard Wood, Director of Digital Connected Technologies at Softbox, the company that created the temperature-controlled payload box for the pilot program.


At QProducts and Services, we believe in controlling digitization, and not allowing it to control you. Drone delivery is certainly a major innovation of the next decade, although there are still some hurdles to widespread adoption. During our September webinar, we’ll dive into the details regarding drone delivery as part of the supply chain.


drone delivery

Cold Chain Challenges in Developing Countries


Major efforts are still needed to improve the cold chain in developing regions of the world.

For drone delivery specifically, regulatory issues, technical complexities, and privacy concerns remain barriers to widespread adoption. Also, the viability of the technology in these real-world applications depends on various factors, including the different regulatory challenges present around different regions of the world.


Furthermore, in regard to the food cold chain, most farmers lack pre-cooling, cold storage, and ripening facilities in rural areas of developing countries. Most developing countries also lack well-developed third-party logistics (3PL) for cold chain facilities or transport services.


qproducts drone delivery

Final Thoughts


Now more than ever, the world needs a reliable and efficient cold chain. Solutions to protect temperature-sensitive shipments such as vaccines will continue to be critical in the development and distribution stages.


Many developing countries continue to face a severe lack in cold chain infrastructure and logistics necessary to supply safe products to consumers. However, there are also many opportunities to overcome these challenges such as drone delivery and


At QProducts and Services, we believe in leveraging our supply chain expertise and creativity to continue to learn and develop solutions for the cold chain in developing countries.

Sustainable Packaging in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Industry

July 7th, 2020 Posted by Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Update 0 thoughts on “Sustainable Packaging in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Industry”

Sustainable Packaging in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Industry

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




Sustainable packaging is and always has been a topic of discussion amongst vendors, suppliers, and customers in the life sciences and healthcare industries. The rate of acceptability is accelerating, and companies are adapting more than ever. In episode two of the Cold Chain Council Podcast, Peter Mirabella of QProducts and Services breaks down the factors that drive QProducts to implement sustainable packaging and practices into the products they build.

palletquilts in a box






















Q: How does QProducts and Services look at packaging sustainability and how is it different from years past?


A: We, as most of the world, want and need to improve the environment. From the air we breathe to minimizing the consumption of our natural resources, these are the basic driving factors. We would be foolish to think that cost is not part of this equation. As a manufacturer of packaging solutions, we are always balancing cost effectiveness with sustainable solutions. In the past, there was an “either/or” approach to packaging sustainability. For example, either developing an elaborate re-use program or the more challenging recyclable program. Now, it’s a matter of being good stewards of the world around us and making packaging sustainability a priority.



Q: Let’s talk about recycling and what that means with materials.


A: These are both challenging areas that require innovation by manufacturers such as QProducts and Services and those involved in Cold Chain Council. Of course, there is no one best answer but rather a multifaceted approach to attack sustainability. We incorporate technology, innovation in materials, collaboration with our customers, maximizing truckload capacities by packaging, and finally, looking at preferable recyclable materials.



Q: Why do we need to rethink packaging in life sciences and healthcare?


A: We need to rethink packaging in life sciences and healthcare because our customers drive us too. Although I say this, we know well that it is our customer’s customers and that being a society as a whole drive us to continue our innovation.



Q: Why aren’t there mature sustainable solutions today?


A: There has been and continues to be an evolution in both materials and manufacturing processes. As an engineer, we balance cost and material characteristics with what fits into reasonable assembly processes to fit the strict criteria to protect temperature-sensitive commodities. As engineers, we are limited with what and how these come together into a finished solution. As you may expect, these limitations result in less sustainable solutions. We continuously research materials we use in our solutions that are low cost and high performing and fit into our manufacturing process. There are always innovations going on from raw material properties to how they are converted into shapes we use to build solutions for our customers.


A perfect example I can share with you are materials used in the residential construction and home goods industries that transitioned into the packaging industry. Historically, the fabrics were either too narrow or too expensive. As technologies improved in how fabrics are manufactured and converted into usable fabrics for temperature packaging solutions, engineers found these products usable in our manufacturing processes.



Q: What motivates you to rethink packaging in your supply chain?


A: The challenge of solving problems. For example, temperature protection packaging is lightweight and if I can use a very technical engineering term, “fluffy.” Shipping air is not sustainable particularly when we consider the future availability of fuel and our focus to reduce carbon emissions. To help with these sustainable concerns, we figured out a way to remove air from our product. QProducts has invested and incorporated new technology that allows us to compress the air from our product, therefore increasing the number of units shipped per pallet. Consequently, we minimize the number of shipments to our customers. In turn, they improve their carbon footprint due to finding a better packaging method and solution.


Another important motivation to note is reducing costs. With sustainable packaging, the cost per unit to ship is dramatically reduced. The savings we may have offered our customers in the past are now the new standard. There is always an ever-driving force to develop lower cost solutions. However, don’t get me wrong, in many cases you get what you pay for. There is a correlation in price to performance. We like to call it price performance continuum.



Q: Can you share a glimpse into the future of packaging?


A: The future of packaging is technology and data analytics driven. It comes from advancements in materials, migration of other industry technologies into the manufacturing world, and just old fashion collaboration. We utilize computer simulation software to refine or enhance our design solutions on a regular basis. When you think about life sciences or healthcare, the qualification process is long and tedious. We all know the traditional steps of DQ, OQ, and PQ. With the use of computer simulations, engineers can dial in the best solution for each application, lane or pack out.


So, what is the impact on the future of packaging? We see solutions getting to market faster and being more refined, which means using less packaging material and as always, being the best cost-effective solution to the end user.


The future of packaging will also be driven through collaboration. QProducts and Services and Riskpulse are a perfect example of how our customers benefit from this collaboration. Riskpulse is a web-based software solution that uses data analysis of up-to-the-minute weather conditions. It provides intellectual risk-based scoring to help recommend preferred transportation modes for your temperature sensitive commodities.


Imagine the ability to bring data built through computer simulation and incorporating that into live weather data making decisions on which mode of transport to use – refrigerated transport, active shipper, pallet shipper, passive shipper, or simply over the road service. The future of technology is information driven.



Q: What are your main challenges?


A: Developing a truly recyclable solution and working towards curbside reliability in all our materials. Our Inspect/Clean/Recycle program for extending the performance and safe use potential of every pallet cover in a client’s network is something we strive to continuously improve.



At QProducts and Services, every quilt we make takes reefers – and their larger carbon footprint – off the road. It’s our goal to reduce the footprint of the logistics industry through safe product development and recycling programs. Learn more about our commitment to sustainability and discover more of our temperature protection solutions.




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If you're searching for thermal shipping, insulated shipping containers, pallet wraps, thermal blankets, insulated foil, banana blankets, tote covers, drum covers, thermal blankets, shipping blankets, electronic cargo locks, or ice cream bags, you found all that and a whole lot more. We are fully committed to providing a passive thermal solution from top to bottom, nose to rear, of your temperature sensitive cargo.

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