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09 Mar 2021 Insight Blog

Cold Chain Logistics: 2 Key Success Factors to Taking Your Product Worldwide

In today’s economy where products are being distributed globally, the typical costs and challenges related to global distribution are magnified if your product requires cold chain logistics. Having a secured supply chain that can move products requiring temperature-controlled handling and do so in a timely manner is essential to expanding globally.

One of the biggest issues in global distribution of temperature-controlled drugs is avoiding temperature excursions: events when products are exposed to temperatures outside the prescribed range.

To prevent temperature excursions, exercise due diligence beforehand. For truck shipments, find out if temperature is being controlled by the truck or the validated shippers, and how long the shipments will be on the truck. For plane shipments, ask your courier for an estimate of how long the product will sit on the tarmac before being loaded onto the plane. If active temperature-controlled shippers are used, ask how long they will maintain temperature when they are unplugged.

Choosing the right clinical supplies partner will help you achieve global distribution success. Consider the following two key factors when selecting your logistics partner:


Look for a clinical supplies partner that has years of experience managing cold chain logistics, and that excels at detailed planning involving complex integration and coordination.

Some examples: make certain the shipment of product will be adequately prepared and conditioned, so the quality of the product is not compromised. Also, using validated shippers is crucial to ensuring that product integrity is maintained no matter what time of the year the shipment takes place and what climate conditions are present. This is something you should enquire about.


Your clinical supplies partner should have experience with selecting specific routes in order to maximize cold chain performance. This is especially important during summer and winter, when external temperatures can affect products en route.

Weather also presents transportation challenges, when routes are blocked, or flights are delayed. Your clinical supplies partner should know how to formulate a contingency plan and work with the best couriers who also know how to handle transportation challenges.


The Clinigen Clinical Supplies Management team has managed the clinical supply chain for hundreds of global trials, including those requiring cold chain logistics. Our network consists of multiple owned facilities and sites in the US, EU, South Africa and Asia Pacific regions, with extended operations through other key logistical site locations.

We currently handle clinical trial supply shipments to over 110 countries, creating a positive difference in the experience and understanding of clinical supply shipping solutions versus any other clinical supply management company.

Our temperature monitoring solutions include single-use, multi-use, or active web-based monitoring for real-time details on your shipment, including location and when the package is opened. In addition, our expertise extends into managing and coordinating cell therapy products. These products usually require the extreme storage conditions only provided by liquid nitrogen. We have been handling cell therapy products for over six years, with hundreds of shipments.

Our reliable and innovative cold chain services have helped our clients increase the efficiency of their study and ensure the integrity of their clinical supplies. Read what our customers have to say about their experience.

What are your clinical trial needs?

Speak with one of our clinical trial supply experts to gain insight into the cold chain considerations when adapting a clinical supply strategy to your particular trial.