Monday, February 4, 2013

New Packing Product for Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Develops from Olympic Logistics

Green Replacement for Traditional Packing Materials
Shipping News Feature

UK – Many companies involved in the 2012 Olympic Games obviously hoped to profit from the success of the event but whilst most would simply have expected an upturn in fortunes from the exposure from advertising or new contacts made, one London based company which supplies unconventional packing materials to logistics groups as an alternative to the typical disposable boxes in a supply chain, has evolved a new product as a direct result of its involvement in the Games.

The Notbox Company produces strong, recyclable and multi-use transportation and storage boxes that have been designed to replace traditional single-use cardboard cartons with a greener alternative. For the Olympics Notbox was chosen to supply a coolbox for the more than 6,000 anonymous urine and blood samples taken from approximately half of the athletes taking part in events in London and across the UK during the 19 days of competition. The task caused Notbox to investigate a possible niche market for the future within the pharmaceutical supply chain.

As part of its accreditation process, the Notbox used during the Olympics demonstrated its ability to protect the integrity of blood samples for at least six hours within a 2-12°C temperature range when exposed to ambient temperatures. It was also chosen because it is a lightweight supply chain box that folds flat when not in use, making it easier to store and return,fitting in the sworn objectives of a more environmentally acceptable Games. Jonathan Cobb, Managing Director of The Notbox Company, explains:

“Having undergone rigorous testing prior to its selection for the Olympics, the Notbox coolbox proved its credentials when moving up to 400 samples a day to the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Harlow, Essex, provided by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

“Having since held various discussions with a series of cold chain specialists with customers in the healthcare market, we are now conducting further cold chamber tests to identify the full capability of Notboxes for the pharmaceutical market and to be able to gain the necessary regulatory approvals to satisfy the industry’s strict requirements.

“Initial laboratory testing is very encouraging for applications in short-haul 2-8 degrees and 'last mile' distribution. We are also testing for compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) international shipment of vaccines requirements. We see great potential for Notbox in the healthcare sector and believe it can offer valuable cost savings over traditional packaging and support the corporate social responsibility programmes of companies in the industry.”