5 selection criteria of a good carrier
If you are involved in wholesale distribution of medicinal products and you are responsible for transport of meds, most probably you have faced the problem of choosing the right carrier numerous times. Pharmaceutical transport requires unique quality and safety requirements to be satisfied, so when selecting the right carrier your attention must be focused on many aspects. So, what should a carrier participating in goods transport have and provide?
1. Pharmaceutical transport vs. GDP certificate
The Good Distribution Practice certificate is the first necessary document without which pharmaceutical transport is out of the question. It is a guarantee of implementing the strictest requirements and guidelines that are to be faced by distributors of pharmaceuticals, and they refer to many areas:
- quality management
- equipment and devices
- staff involved in wholesale distribution of meds
2. Transport of meds vs. quality management system
It is not enough for a pharmaceutical carrier to satisfy GDP requirements. Before you decide to start cooperating with a given carrier, make sure they have implemented a quality management system. Such a certificate is always an added value. It certifies that the carrier satisfies the requirements and standards defined in ISO 9001:2015 and confirms that the service of transporting meds is provided to the highest standards.
When a carrier can be said to have a good quality management system?
- when procedures, processes, resources, and actions assure that the delivered goods maintain their quality and integrity
- when procedures, processes, resources and actions guarantee that the transported goods are part of a lawful supply chain
- when the system is fully documented
3. Transport of pharmaceuticals vs. vehicle equipment
A carrier specialising in transport of meds is also responsible for necessary transport conditions (transport temperature when transporting meds and securing appropriate air humidity in the cargo space), which in turn requires vehicles to be specially equipped. In this respect, what counts most is protection against damage, falsification, or theft. Thus, each vehicle should have:
- temperature sensors and a printer allowing to make temperature printouts on a current basis,
- GPS systems controlling and monitoring temperature and guaranteeing safety by providing the option of tracing the vehicle and generating alerts,
- relevant documents – ATP certificates, sensor calibration certificates, mapping certificates, up-to-date technical inspection reports of the cooling unit, the cold room, the truck tractor, and the cleaning logbook.
4. Well-trained personnel of the carrier
Appropriate distribution of medicinal products is not based solely on certificates and vehicle equipment. An efficient shipping process is also – or perhaps most of all – dependent on the team, which must be properly trained and aware of their duties. Consequently, in light of relevant legal regulations, carriers are obliged to provide training for each new employee who is to be involved in distribution of pharmaceuticals, as well as carry out refresher training every year. Systematic training of drivers is equally important. They, too, must undergo introductory and refresher trainings, and each training type needs to be documented. Furthermore, each company involved in pharmaceutical transport should have a Responsible Person appointed, who will make sure all relevant procedures and guidelines are adhered to on a daily basis. Such a person must be properly trained and experienced, and their duties must be clearly defined and documented. Therefore, when taking on a new carrier, it is advisable to check this aspect, as well.
5. Constant contact with the carrier
Constant contact with the carrier is extremely important when executing the process of pharmaceutical transport. New technologies can prove very helpful in this respect. Thanks to state-of-the-art telematic systems it is possible to have constant control of vehicles by generating links in GPS apps and sharing them with clients. Therefore, you as a client are able to trace your shipment at all times and see where the truck with your goods is at a given point of time.
Additionally, the service should also comprise contact with the forwarding agent, who should be in contact with you at each stage of the shipment and inform you on individual phases of the transport process on a current basis.
So, as you can see, transport of meds is not an easy feat. The carrier has to satisfy numerous requirements to make sure that the goods entrusted to it will reach their unloading site in appropriate conditions, using appropriate equipment, and involving exclusively well-trained staff. Such an advanced type of transport also requires efficient two-way communication, which is very helpful at each stage of the process. It is much easier to collaborate when information on the cargo is provided on a current basis and the client is notified on the shipment status in emergency situations. Choosing a certified carrier as your contractor for pharmaceutical transport is equivalent with minimising the risk of undesirable situations, which might occur if this task is entrusted to parties unaware of the specific requirements of this type of transport.
If you would like to entrust your goods to a certified and experienced carrier, e-mail or call us, and our team will be happy to answer all your questions regarding satisfying the highest standards in pharmaceutical transport. We make every effort to make sure all sensitive goods are transported safely and temperature conditions are maintained. To this end we apply a number of tools, such as refrigerated trucks adapted to transporting meds (each has the ATP certificate, sensors calibration, mapping, cleaning logbook), qualified personnel (our employees attend introductory and refresher trainings and are delegated to training in external training institutions), and a long list of procedures compliant with the guidelines of the Good Distribution Practice we follow in our business. Do you think our solutions are good for you? We can schedule a short talk, during which we will tell you about our experience and answer your questions.