CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
April 08, 2020
Forward Thinking

Cold supply chain will be crucial to stopping swine flu

Temperature-controlled logistics services will be key to a successful response to the H1N1 flu outbreak.

If the H1N1 VIRUS—better known as swine flu—becomes a global pandemic, then the "cold supply chain" will play a critical role in stopping the spread of the disease, says John Wilkerson, executive director of Bellwether Services, a consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He believes that global operators of temperature-controlled logistics services will be key to a successful response to the swine flu outbreak.

A cold supply chain provides an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities while maintaining a specified temperature range for a product. Since any swine flu vaccine or other anti-viral medications may have to be shipped to and distributed in hot climates, he observes, the product will have to travel in temperature-controlled conditions from origin to destination if it is to arrive undamaged and prove effective in treating patients.

In addition to the physical transfer of any vaccine, carriers and climate-controlled distribution centers will have to work together to ensure a secure chain of custody and accurate data on the vaccine's temperature history. "Cold chain planning, collaboration, and communication are critical to improving the response time [to a pandemic]," said Wilkerson.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.

Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter 2009: Cold supply chain will be crucial to stopping swine flu"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.