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Sanofi delivers Advanced Cold Chain Distribution service for medicines for Tasmania


Sanofi Australia and Mediport are working together to deliver an active cold chain distribution service in Tasmania.

Sanofi Australia and supply chain company Mediport are working together to deliver a new active cold chain distribution service for healthcare providers and patients in Tasmania. The weekly service is designed to more reliably protect medicines and vaccines arriving from the mainland, and reduce the amount of carbon emission caused by alternative transport methods.

The active cold chain distribution service uses dual temperature zone vehicles with control systems that monitor and report the changing temperature conditions. Conditions can be controlled by Mediport headquarters delivering greater protection for medicines and vaccines while in transit.

Until now, medicines and vaccines would arrive in Tasmania on pallets via airfreight, alongside other airmail, relying on the efficacy of a passive polystyrene and polyurethane shipper box packed with gel packs or cold bricks to keep their ideal temperature. Boxes that endured the journey without damage could be reused but with a limited shelf-life, before being bound for landfill.

The active cold chain distribution service also has the benefit of reducing carbon emission. It is estimated that flights emit 500 grams of carbon dioxide for each metric tonne of cargo per kilometre of transportation. Whereas, ships emit only between 10 to 40 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.1

Ruhul Moula, Head of Supply Chain, Sanofi Australia & New Zealand comments:

“For our team, success is achieved when our science reaches Australian’s who need it, when they need it. This collaboration with Mediport helps us deliver our medicines and vaccines in a sustainable way across Tasmania.
“The active cold chain service delivers greater efficiency, visibility and peace-of-mind with shipments continuously monitored and managed during their journey across the Bass Strait, up until we knock on the customer’s door. It also reduces the need for airfreight and reliance on shipper boxes bound for landfill delivering a more efficient experience for our customers too.”

Marcus Lethlean, Managing Director at Mediport added: 

“We’re thrilled that the collaboration with Sanofi has led to Tasmania’s first active cold chain solution in the health sector. Active refrigeration for medicines and vaccines optimises climate control throughout a product’s journey. We always provide the exact temperatures for the medicines; if there are transport delays or closures, the product survives in our custody. With a polystyrene or polyurethane passive shipper box, it is packed and the clock starts with 48 hours to get there, any delays may lead to the medicines being destroyed.

“We’ve worked towards delivering this service for years and its operation brings particular joy for me as my grandparents are from Tasmania. I want to ensure they, and all Australian’s, have access to reliable supply chain services that meet the requirements of the precious cargo they need.”

1 Air Freight vs Sea Freight Carbon Footprint (The Real Numbers in 2023) ( Accessed Nov 2023

Source: Sanofi

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