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Real-Time Trackers: Driving Vaccine Delivery Success

February 5, 2024

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When the Australian government needed a reputable cold chain logistics provider to distribute COVID-19 vaccines starting in late 2020, it turned to a Melbourne-based shipper, the largest privately-owned logistics company in the Asia-Pacific region. In business for more than six decades, this company understands the tremendous value of leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and platforms to monitor shipments’ locations and temperatures in real-time.

As a LSP, the professionals at this company also understand the importance of collaborative partnerships in driving a successful pharmaceutical supply chain—where the integrity and viability of shipments often depend on strict temperature monitoring and control. With human lives potentially at stake if the COVID vaccines failed to adhere to mandated temperature controls, this LSP partnered with Tive for real-time location and shipment tracking.

The temperature-control guidelines for COVID vaccines are some of the most stringent—even the slightest variation of a degree or two beyond the acceptable ranges could render a shipment unusable. Prior to January 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of the Australian Government Department of Health had approved three COVID vaccines for distribution in the country, each with its own acceptable temperature range:

The worldwide distribution of vaccines—which Dr. Roberto Perez-Franco of the Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin University described as “the largest logistics effort in the world since the World War”—was not without issues. Constantly changing travel restrictions across international borders, soaring global demand, and more made it imperative that each shipment be constantly monitored to ensure it maintained the required temperature throughout transport.

Though each manufacturer’s vaccine has different storage temperature requirements and shelf lives, each requires a stable cold chain with reliable tracking capabilities to ensure compliance. Depending on the in-transit cold chain temperature requirement and destination, this Australian LSP could send a vaccine shipment in one of two ways:

Active: in a refrigerated cold chain vehicle

Passive: in an ambient transport solution that uses validated packaging, such as temperature-controlled gel bricks

Regardless of active or passive—or the mode of transport used (road, air, rail, ocean)—one Tive Solo 5G multi-sensor tracker was attached to each pallet, container, or shipment to record temperature and location data in real time. The Solo 5G can be used in environments of -200°C to 60°C. Temperatures below -30°C are covered using Tive’s Dry Ice or Cryogenic probes.

The real-time data collected by the Solo 5G trackers lives in the Tive cloud platform, which interfaces directly with the LSPs control room dashboard—combining to provide around-the-clock visibility and communication capabilities.

This uncharted new COVID world has challenged us in many ways. Our "Together, Stronger" mantra is the key as we draw on the strength of our partnerships to keep our communities vibrant and thriving. Our relationship with Tive is critical to ensuring people who want the vaccinations can get them—so we all can focus on driving our economies back to prosperity.

CEO of LSP

This partnership has proved to be quite successful, reporting the following results:

  • More than 10,500 different metro and regional customers serviced
  • 31 million kilometers traveled
  • More than 20 million vaccine doses delivered
  • More than 75,000 vaccine consumables handling units delivered
  • 400,000+ quality checks conducted along the way
  • 125 million+ data messages (25,000 per hour) with 100% accuracy