- UPS has officially expanded its International Special Commodities (ISC) program, its press room reported. Customers may now ship biological substances and dangerous goods in pre-determined quantities, along with shipments requiring dry ice, to 50 more additional international destinations, bringing total destination availability to more than 100.
- The decision to add more destinations is motivated by increasing demand from biopharmaceutical manufacturers, diagnostics companies, laboratories, distributors and care providers who need specialized commodities when safety, time and controlled temperatures are essential.
- UPS complies fully with regulations UN3373 (Biologic Substances, Category B, Diagnostic Specimen and Clinical Specimen) and UN1845 (Carbon Dioxide, solid or dry ice).
Specialized medicine and better care in formerly inaccessible locations are boosting the medical-care transport industry.
But the processes involved in growing the international cold chain are not so easy.
"Shipments of dry ice have acceptance audit handling procedures that need to be implemented in the new serviceable countries," Dan Gagnon, UPS vice president of global healthcare strategy, told Supply Chain Dive. "In addition, these shipments require our customers’ shipping systems and UPS’s operational systems to be updated to include these new countries."
Requirements for handling dry ice, while challenging, are just part of the process. It's a continual effort to maintain ideal conditions and avoid emergencies.
"Unplanned events such as inclement weather or power outages can be a major challenge for these products, so the logistics solution for biological substances needs to include contingency plans," Gagnon said. "The solution also needs to take into consideration the different local regulations and Ministry of Health guidelines for each country where the product will be shipped, which can vary from country to country."
Over all, it's a highly complex process for transporters. Getting it right every time is of paramount importance.
"Maintaining optimal temperature range, particularly in those countries with warm or hot climates, is critical for biological substances. UPS works with customers to ensure their packages reach their destinations on time, undamaged and within temperature range," Gagnon said.