Niall Balfour, CEO
For many people worldwide, vaccines remain mere “rays of hope” until they get delivered to them in the desired quality and at the right time. That said, the role of medical shipments cannot be overstated. The success behind uninterrupted availability of any standard vaccine relies on functional, end-to-end supply chain and logistics systems that ensure effective vaccine storage, safe handling and stock management, optimum temperature control, and adequate maintenance systems. This critical process can be best explained through the example of a crucial, temperature-sensitive oncology product manufactured by a major pharmaceutical firm in the UK that had over 30 shipping lanes to Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and North America.
In the process, the pharmaceutical manufacturer faced several bottlenecks trying to maintain the product integrity–a unique pallet size according to EU standards, reducing temperature excursions, improving packaging quality and lead-time supply and lowering costs, amongst others. To mitigate these challenges, the pharma company asked a 3PL transportation provider to assess solutions that would guarantee a robust supply-chain lifecycle. Their findings led them to TOWER Cold Chain Solutions’ (TOWER) KTM range that could meet all their requirements–from maintaining temperature to ensuring product compliance and easy-to-use procedures that would reduce lead-time and costs. “Our KTM container solution efficiently resolved the inconsistencies and allowed the client to operate more efficiently while maximizing their compliance times,” remarks Niall Balfour, CEO, TOWER Cold Chain Solutions.
Success stories like this demonstrate the commitment of TOWER to protect high-value pharmaceutical products globally. Needless to say, 16 of the world’s top 20 pharma companies and 14 global pharma 3PL companies rely on TOWER’s containers and the simplicity and reliability they bring. Back in 2009, TOWER was founded as a solution to address the shift in market demands from buying to renting containers. Today, the company’s simple to store, load, reuse container solutions (that have fewer than 0.1 percent temperature excursions) seamlessly enhance operational efficiencies, making it an efficient and cost-effective choice for 3PL customers. Over the years, TOWER has emerged as the “The One-Way-Easy-Rental” solution across the logistics and pharmaceutical transportation realm.
The M of KTM stands for modular, meaning our containers are fully size-configurable to meet all shipment needs–from sub-pallet to double-pallet, and more
In essence, TOWER’s KryoTrans container range was introduced to add robustness and increase longevity in the pharmaceutical supply-chain model by addressing roadblocks like wasted product, temperature excursion, physical damage, and others. “In addition, our technical team also developed phase-change material (PCM) technology, together with a combination of plastic molding and insulation properties to efficiently store thermal energy,” says Balfour. A proactive step towards building a sustainable environment, TOWER’s PCM technology makes the cold-chain containers reusable, thereby reducing the volumes of waste generated. At present, each of the company’s containers runs on PCM and ensures optimum temperature maintenance for over 120 hours without any human intervention (using dry ice instead of PCMs for temperatures below -60).
The biggest strength of TOWER’s containers lies in their capability to adapt to variable temperature ranges–-80 degrees to +25 degrees centigrade.“The M of KTM stands for modular, meaning our containers are fully size-configurable to meet all shipment needs–from sub-pallet to double-pallet, and more,” remarks Balfour. With “zero fail” technology embedded in each container to reduce costs and damage, deep-frozen products can be shipped in narrow-or wide-bodied aircraft. Besides, the simple-to-use solutions come with an Integral Bluetooth datalogger, warranting full audit trail, real-time internal and external temperature monitoring, and effectively diminishes the need for third-party intervention during transit.
Driven by its vision to be the provider-of-choice of temperature-controlled solutions to the global pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, TOWER offers unrivalled products that create value for all its stakeholders–customers, employers, shareholders, and suppliers. The company continually innovates to stay relevant amidst ever-expanding pharmaceutical market demands. The challenge of COVID-19 has led to significant new developments allowing TOWER’s products to address the emerging requirement for vaccines to be stored and shipped at -80.
Whilst scaling up its production to satisfy customer demand amidst coronavirus-imposed logistical challenges, TOWER is unearthing opportunities to enhance the value proposition to its customers. The company plans to explore the digital panorama and incorporate premium technologies like blockchain to optimize product availability and cost efficiencies for its clients. With branches in the US, UK, Europe, and Africa, TOWER also aims to expand its geographical footprint and add more robustness to its existing internal infrastructure. “We want to evolve in the R&D space, bring digitalization into our solutions, and eventually transform the pharmaceutical supply-chain market realm in the years to come,” concludes Balfour.