FedEx keeps cool
FedEx Corp has announced an expansion of its temperature controlled packaging portfolio to include a new ‘cold shipping’ packaging option for customers that require a refrigerated environment of 2-8° Celsius up to 96 hours for their shipments.
The new packaging will be of particular benefit to the healthcare industry, as it is easy to use, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.
The patented system, built by NanoCool, achieves a temperature of 4°C in less than five minutes without the use of gel packs or dry ice. The packaging device maintains its exacting ‘cold ship’ temperature requirements with a special cooling system that evaporates water over time, a process that is activated by merely pushing the button inside the box.
“The demand for global temperature-controlled shipping is growing quickly and FedEx Healthcare Solutions is growing right along with it,” said Carl Asmus, vice president, Supply Chain Solutions & Market Development, FedEx Services. “With our new cold shipping packaging option, FedEx customers who ship items that require a temperature controlled environment have peace of mind knowing their shipments are in the custodial control of the secure FedEx network.”
FedEx not only delivers a reliable, cost-effective method to transport temperature-sensitive shipments—it provides these services with easy use for customers. The convenient benefits of the system include:
Benefits of the new system include reliable maintenance of a 2-8°C environment for up to 96 hours from activation without gel packs or dry ice, easy-to-use configuration and smaller, lighter packaging.
The packaging, which can also be used in combination with the SenseAwareSM technology and FedEx Priority Alert™ services, is part of the broad portfolio of FedEx healthcare solutions having also recently introduced new features for its FedEx Deep Frozen Shipping Solution and the FedEx Thermal Blanket Solution.
“The needs of our customers drive us to find new ways to innovate across the business, particularly in the healthcare space,” said Thomas Dale, director, FedEx HealthCare Solutions, FedEx Services. “When it comes to critical, life-saving inventory, we are dedicated to obtaining the latest in cutting-edge cold chain technology to protect these sensitive goods in transit. Our customers depend on us to offer solutions that reflect the speed and temperature specifications that are crucial for their industry.”
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.