When shipping temperature-sensitive biopharmaceutical goods, one of the key ways of preserving the integrity and efficacy of the shipment is to monitor its conditions throughout its journey. An essential component of supply chain visibility is being able to capture relevant data, so that it can be tracked and analysed accordingly. To do this, your shipment would need a data logger.

A data logger is a device that uses sensors to automatically monitor and record specific environmental conditions like temperature or humidity. There are two main ways that data loggers collect the data, the first being through a USB or NFC device, where the data is stored within the device, to be transferred manually onto a computer or tablet. The second data collection method uses wireless loggers, which do not require a physical transfer of the data. The wireless data logger transmits the recorded data either to a web-based cloud system through a gateway or other device. The second method allows an uninterrupted and real-time monitoring and recording of the data.

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In this article, we speak to Janis Elzenheimer, Head of Sales at Tec4med LifeScience GmbH to ask him about data loggers, whatJanis Portrait to look for when selecting a logger, and how loggers improve supply chain visibility. Tec4med are experts in the tracking and monitoring of data for the cold chain, using state-of-the-art technology to capture key data points across international shipments, warehouses, logistics fleets and even laboratories. Their product range creates a complete ecosystem of end-to-end supply chain visibility from their SmartTag data loggers, to the SmartHub real-time tracking devices and the easy-to-use Tec4Cloud  dashboard.  Starting out in the industry over seven years ago, the technology company has been a leader in the cold chain monitoring space and currently serves 2000+ customers and clients from 59 countries all over the world.

How do data loggers improve supply chain visibility?

Data loggers allow you to monitor the status of your pharmaceutical shipments, like changes in the temperature of your warehouse, medical refrigerators, and real-time data along your shipment’s journey. The ability to access information like humidity, temperature, shock and light not only give you peace of mind knowing your payload is in the right environmental conditions, but it also allows you to process and analyse the data to make improvements to your supply chain, meet compliance requirements for pharmaceutical shipments, and make more informed decisions about your shipment.

The key to good visibility is data. Data is the starting point, because without data, it is much more difficult to identify any potential threats to your shipment and to address them in good time. Ultimately, data loggers help to provide much-needed information to everyone along the supply chain so that product quality can be maintained, and operations processes can be optimised at all points along the cold chain. Connected logistics is the way forward.

What are the key features to look out for when selecting a data logger for a pharmaceutical shipment?

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Key Features

  • International certifications
  • Airline approvals
  • Calibration certificates
  • Real-time tracking capabilities
  • Easy-to-use logger and cloud technology
  • Cost of logger
  • Level of customer service support provided

If you are a pharmaceutical company, the most important thing to look out for when purchasing a data logger is certifications. Ensure that the loggers are properly certified according to international standards like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, individual airline approvals, the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), as well as calibration certificates. At Tec4med we conduct yearly calibration testing to ensure that our products are up to standard.

Next, ensure that your logger is equipped to conduct real-time tracking as your shipment moves across its journey. It is also important to make sure that the cloud technology that your data logger is connected to is easy to use. The cloud gateway should be user-friendly, and the data should be easily accessible to you either through a mobile app, an electronic device or through the gateway itself. Other considerations like the cost of your data loggers and the level of customer service support provided should also be considered, in the event there are concerns that you need to address with your logger and/or shipment.

Are there any caveats or “don’t dos” when purchasing a data logger?

There are a lot of new technologies emerging the in the market, but not all of them will be a suitable choice. I would say it is best not to select a logger that does not give you a consistent flow or picture of the data. Consistent data is essential to accurately monitor your shipment and the lack of real-time data could compromise your payload. I would caution consumers to make sure that the data loggers use technology which is reliable and suits their shipment and logistics needs. While USB loggers are still an option for data tracking, a shift towards real-time tracking and connected logistics is the way toward making supply chains safer and more efficient.

I would caution consumers to make sure that the data loggers use technology which is reliable and suits their shipment and logistics needs. While USB loggers are still an option for data tracking, a shift towards real-time tracking and connected logistics is the way toward making supply chains safer and more efficient.

The Intelsius and Tec4med Collaboration

Intelsius and Tec4med have created a fully-comprehensive solution for customers with the ORCA Connect, equipped with a designated space on the packaging system to accommodate the Tec4med Beacon data logger. This solution provides customers with a complete packaging system and data logging capabilities that can monitor temperature, humidity and shock.  ORCA Connect is a high-performance packaging system that provides thermal protection for up to 144 hours in a range of temperatures from 2-8°C, 15-25°C, and at below -20°C, so customers can rest assured that their shipment is safe.

This collaboration means that customers are given a complete ecosystem for pharmaceutical shipping, and they are assured of real-time monitoring capabilities all throughout the payload’s journey. Utilising the Tec4med SmartHub which is a smart gateway and real-time location tracking and shipment monitoring solution, Intelsius is then connected to the cloud via 5G technology. The SmartHub is also able to connect to multiple TempBeacons using an advanced near field pairing process.

The Beacon and Gateway technology is designed as a plug-and-play with the aim of automating and digitising supply chains, warehouses and fleets.

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Get in Touch

If you would like to learn more about our collaboration with Tec4med, click here. To learn more about Tec4med’s solutions their website is linked here. For any further queries about Intelsius’ connected packaging solutions, reach out to cs@intelsius.com and our customer service representatives will be happy to assist you.

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