Thermal blankets/packaging, polyurethane containers, temperature-controlled trailers…all measures taken by shippers to help ensure the proper transport conditions of temperature-controlled shipments.
But, as industry experts explain, “Today, temperature controlled transportation of products using cold chain facility is only ensured for the distribution of vaccines and some pharmaceutical or biological products through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods to protect the products from loosing their effectiveness.” 1 But what about dry pharma products?
Did you know that polypropylene syringes can easily break in high temperatures? And when exposed to conditions under 50°F, latex gloves can become stiff, and likewise, under excessive heat, cause rapid rubber degradation?
In fact, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, close to 82 million units of medical device recalls occurred in the first quarter of 2012, “representing a 508 percent increase over the previous quarter and recording a five-quarter high.” 2 These recalls include needles and gloves (as mentioned above) as well as catheters and alcohol prep pads, with many being repeat offenders. 2
Now the industry is fighting back, asking the government “to take initiative to push for better implementation of regulations of the non cold-chain based supply chain management of pharma products,” stating that “even the dry pharma based cargo should be transported only under strict temperature controlled environments to ensure sustainability of the pharma products from volatile conditions.” 1
As Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls at Stericycle ExpertRECALL, explains, “Companies should be doing everything possible to minimize the safety concerns that would result in recalls.” 2
According to experts, many companies are putting their products at risk by not following current regulations and suggest “stronger use of track and trace systems.” 1
Not only is the company impacted through the loss of the discarded shipment, but inspection costs, brand equity, their reputation with the customer, and consumer health alerts. By utilizing technology such as the track and track capability, remote locking devices, and electronic door monitoring, such as those installed on Road Scholar’s fleet, a shipper can minimize their risk of due diligence.
Due diligence is “the care a reasonable person should take before entering into an agreement or a transaction with another party.”3 When something goes wrong, the shipper can then face vicarious liability.
As QualifiedCarriers.com informs, “a carrier’s liability insurance will exclude indemnity for independent claims against the shipper,” for example, negligent hiring, so you, the shipper, can be sued as well for your carrier’s actions.
In further detail, shippers are now liable in cases where “the plaintiff can show (1) the carrier caused injury to the plaintiff’s property or person through negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct and (2) the shipper did not exercise reasonable care or perform proper due diligence when it screened, vetted, and selected the carrier to move the shipper’s freight.”4
In order to help reduce your risk of vicarious liability, we are providing you with the below video demonstrating seven easy steps for vetting out carriers through the CSA 2010’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). By taking 90 seconds of your time and learning how you can vet out carriers, you can save thousands, even millions, worth the stolen, damaged, or recalled products during transport.