The wait is over: the first vaccines against Covid-19 are expected to be approved shortly. They will come off the production line in high volumes immediately. While the population hopes that this step will bring a return to normality, logistics will be faced with a number of challenges. Nationwide alone, around 55 million individual doses will have to be distributed to regional vaccination centres. Several billion doses worldwide.
Probably never before have so many individual doses of an antigen had to be distributed over such a wide area - and in such a short time. But it is not only the high volume that poses a challenge for logistics. Most of the coronavirus vaccines presented so far have to be stored at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius throughout the entire transport chain. To ensure this, they are transported in special containers or in special packaging, using dry ice. These are routine processes within German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). However, each individual shipment must be strictly monitored to ensure that the refrigeration is maintained.
Automated temperature monitoring
As the transport involves several transshipment and cross-docking centres on the way to the vaccination centres which are currently being set up, different vehicles are used. It is therefore important to ensure that the specified temperature is maintained throughout the entire transport chain. Furthermore, logistics companies have to fine-tune the delivery time, as the vaccines can only be kept in the refrigerator for a limited time.
If logistics companies carry out the complex process manually, for the quality assurance of pharmaceutical products, this requires a high administrative effort. At the same time, planning the large number of transport movements required for the Covid 19 antigen is a particular challenge, as there are usually not enough drivers available.
Both the corona vaccine and other pharmaceutical products must be available where they are needed as quickly as possible. At the same time, it is important for logistics companies to organize distribution effectively and efficiently. Current technology in the form of an integrated solution comprising transport planning, shipment tracking at package level and automated temperature monitoring throughout the entire Supply Chain supports precisely this. A modern transport management software lays the foundation for the fast and efficient delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine. This applies in the same way to other pharmaceutical products that have to be delivered daily.
Quality assurance at the click of a mouse
At the same time, this lays the foundation for the simple and rapid production of reports and documentation of the safety of sensitive products. It is important to ensure that all relevant data is available in real time and that reports can be generated within seconds. After all, these are often required in the shortest possible time, for example in the event of an inspection by the authorities. In addition, it should be possible to visualize all data with just a few clicks. Last but not least, this also guarantees what we all hope for today: A rapid and safe supply of the corona vaccine to the population.
About the author
Franz Renger is the product manager at KRATZER AUTOMATION. The role of the electrical and information technology engineer is business analysis and consulting in transport logistics. Franz Renger has 15 years of experience in the logistics industry.
About KRATZER AUTOMATION:
For more than 40 years KRATZER AUTOMATION AG has been providing process-oriented software solutions for the international automotive and transport industry in Europe. The company is represented with almost 500 employees at 10 German locations. KRATZER AUTOMATION is internationally active with its own companies in France, Great Britain, Italy, the Czech Republic, the USA and China.
With cadis, KRATZER AUTOMATION delivers an intelligent software product for logistic processes in the business segment Logistics Automation: A transport management system for planning, execution and intelligent analysis of all operative work processes in freight transport. Every second of the leading 10 logistics companies in Europe relies on cadis. In the Test Systems business unit KRATZER AUTOMATION plans, realizes and modernizes test systems for engines, turbochargers, transmissions and other drive components with a focus on test systems for energy-saving and environmentally friendly drive concepts.
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