Sofrigam anticipates optimized NewGen approach to pharma logistics

Sofrigam anticipates optimized NewGen approach to pharma logistics

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Press Release | Sofrigam S.A

JANUARY 09, 2017

Rueil-Malmaison, France: – Pharmaceutical cold chain packaging specialist Sofrigam S.A. says it has adapted its temperature-controlled packaging strategies to synergize with two emerging trends in pharma and biotech logistics.

The first is an increasingly ‘packaged’ and integrated approach to life sciences logistics in which ever more complex risk management, regulation and product sensitivity plus cost pressures have compelled pharmaceutical companies to adopt an increasingly outsourced approach, entrusting all cold chain shipping to third party logistics (3PL/TPL) providers. Accordingly, TPL providers are increasingly providing temperature-controlled services and adapting infrastructures to cater more specifically for the needs of life sciences clients.

The second emerging trend is greater reliance on Big Data mining of huge semi-structured data sets for predictive or analytical information. The French-based company has moved to anticipate the trend with that incorporate inbuilt temperature regulation system and on-board electronics that accumulate data as they maintain exact temperature and provide accurate monitoring across shipment.

Collections strategy

The three Sofrigam insulated packaging collections, introduced at the Cool Chain Logistics Europe summit in Frankfurt earlier this year, are part of a new Sofrigam design and product ‘3M’ strategy that emphasizes:

  • Maximized volume through closely observed configurations of shipping containers
  • Minimized loading weight and transportation costs through precise calculation of cold source
  • Minimized loading times enabled by inventive equipment configurations and design
  • The three collections variously emphasize different priorities for pharma clients.

    The Initial Collection focuses on value for money, exemplified by the recently introduced Sofribox, emphasizing effectiveness in maintaining controlled temperature across the whole payload and minimized Total Cost of Ownership (TCO through closer fit with air and road logistics standards.

    The Elite Collection emphasizes ultimate security and peace of mind, with solutions that maintain completely stable internal temperatures for up to 240 hours: between three and five times longer than traditional insulated packaging. The collection is exemplified by Sofribox containers incorporating vacuum insulated panel (VIP) technology.

    The Connected 2.0 Collection, spearheaded by Sofrigam’s flagship iBox connected and auto-regulated cold chain shipping container, is designed to meet emerging pharma and biotech industry requirements for guaranteed complete real-time temperature control during end-to-end transportation of sensitive products, harnessing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

    Minimizing TCO and TCP

    “At Sofrigam, we have focused design of our new insulated packaging ranges for a new world in which cold-chain logistics is an increasingly packaged service and in which collecting and preserving data becomes almost as important as the actual packaging,” commented Sofrigam CEO and founder Gilles Labranque.

    “This means making packaging cost efficient in optimizing supply chain costs and guaranteeing optimal risk management. The total cost of packaging (TCP) is only one component: we also focus on total cost of ownership (TCO) across the operation, which includes all the outbound distribution costs as well,” said Labranque, pointing out that packaging makes up only about 20 per cent of supply chain costs, dwarfed by distribution charges.

    “Thus a package that costs 20% more but only costs half as much to ship effectively reduces total TCO by around 30%,” Labranque pointed out.

    “That’s why our packaging ranges are designed around the 3M algorithm that maximizes volume while minimizing package weight and handling time,” he explained.

    Temperature-sensitive boom

    Medicines derived from genetic research and biotech are increasingly costly and temperature sensitive, requiring ever-increasing care and regulation in transportation. Added to this are increasingly restrictive compliance guidelines, creating an ever more complex logistical environment.

    According to the American pharmaceutical magazine Pharmaceutical Commerce, pharmaceutical logistics via the cold chain generated more than $10 billion in revenue in 2015, set to increase to $13 billion by 2019.

    Examples of increasingly specialist logistics offerings include the recent UPS announcement of a purpose-built life sciences distribution center in the Netherlands alongside its new dedicated healthcare airfreight dispatch center at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport and DHL’s investments since 2012 in facilities capable of processing shipments of heat-sensitive products.

    Greater horizontal integration is also illustrated by the three-way collaboration between pharmaceutical laboratory Baxter and Belgian pharmaceutical manufacturer UCB via logistics specialist Tri-Vizor to create an integrated biopharma logistics network covering six Eastern European countries that has achieved cost savings of more than 15%, with a 50% reduction in the carbon footprint. The collaboration has since been extended include American filtration system manufacturer Donaldson Company Inc. and Kimberley-Clark.

    Further innovation

    Technology is omnipresent in this new logistics landscape from authentication via unique coding on primary, secondary and tertiary packaging to Big Data risk management and predictive analytics and ability to track and trace products right across the entire logistical chain from manufacture to end-user delivery.

    “We are entering an era of connected and even collaborative logistics,” said Labranque.

    “Sofrigam is committed to optimum management of logistics via the cold chain with ever more focused and sophisticated package offerings, a journey that began with the development of our initial Pallet Shipper in 2001,” he said.

    “The current focus of our research is in further integration of data into the logistics chain and we are moving towards further innovations that we plan to announce quite soon,” Labranque promised.

    About Sofrigam

    Founded by an industrial pharmacist in 1979, Sofrigam has become the leading European expert in providing refrigerated packaging solutions dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry. Sofrigam offers a complete range of customized, pre-qualified temperature-controlled packaging solutions for heat-sensitive biopharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and cosmetics products.

    Sofrigam has become one of Europe’s leading cold chain specialists, sharing its expertise via seminars, publications and R&D collaborations. It also offers customized products and services designed to achieve cold logistics that are secure, cost-effective and comprehensively compliant.

    The company is headquartered in Ile-de-France with a production site near Arras.

    Following 2014/2015 expansion, the design and manufacturing plant for Sofrigam insulated packaging located in Monchy-le-Preux in France is now one of the biggest site in the world dedicated exclusively to temperature-controlled packaging solutions.

    Sofrigam partners with Ater Métrologie, a French-based ISTA and ISO 9001 certified laboratory that specializes in testing, validating and pre-qualifying temperature-controlled packaging and cooling systems. The laboratory carries out some 2,000 tests each year.

    In 2016, Sofrigam remodeled its product ranges to present a new and more dynamic visual identity, intended to facilitate understanding of its activity on the international stage where it achieves 90% of its turnover. The company has also announced new development prospects based on innovations resulting from its own research and development programs.

    Media Contact

    Laetitia Perche, Marketing Director, Sofrigam SA
    Tel: +33 (0) 1 46 69 85 00


    Click on Sofrigam anticipates optimized NewGen approach to pharma logistics for more information.
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    Increased sophistication of medicines driving new approaches to pharmaceutical logistics

    Increased sophistication of medicines driving new approaches to pharmaceutical logistics

    Sofrigam iBox ‘smart’ containers that marry rigorous physical, temperature and data security.

    Sofrigam iBox ‘smart’ containers that marry rigorous physical, temperature and data security

    iBox container includes on-board electronics for real time temperature control and tracking

    iBox container includes on-board electronics for real time temperature control and tracking

    Supplier Information
    Supplier: Sofrigam SA
    Address: 212 avenue Paul Doumer, 92508 Rueil Malmaison, Cedex, France
    Tel: +33 (1) 46 69 85 00
    Fax: +33 (1) 47 25 98 44

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