Several factors are responsible for the increase in temperature-controlled packaging. Many of these factors are tied to one another. The end result, no matter the cause, is an increased need for insulated shipping containers.
There is, across several industries, a shortage of skilled workers. This is due to baby boomers retiring, increased demand for skilled workers, and a change in demands for labor. The result is a crisis-level shortage of workers. The shortage is forecast to worsen over the next few decades, as well. This skills shortage will affect cold chain packaging, but not necessarily in a positive way.
Patient-centric supply chain
As personalized medicine becomes more prevalent, this will lead to supply chains becoming more patient-focused. Moving toward this new focus will require a reconsideration of how companies approach supply chain management from end to end. This includes rethinking cold chain packaging solutions.
Traditionally, patients were at the end of the supply chain. This new customer or patient-focused approach will shape how the product moves through its lifecycle, from the early stages of research and development through to delivery to the customer. Cold chain packaging will play a pivotal role in delivering products within this new way of thinking.
Digital supply chain
As artificial intelligence and machine learning improve, we can expect an increase in digital transformation within cold chain packaging solutions.
Artificial intelligence will be embedded in sensors, so that insulated shipping container temperatures can automatically adjust using real-time data without the need for people to intervene.
In the realm of transportation, autonomous systems will navigate and determine optimal routes for vehicles to travel. In the warehouse, AI and robots will manage inventory. The challenge in implementing this digital future is to ensure companies have the proper technical talent on staff to make these solutions happen.
Resources are finite. For this reason, there is a need to reduce waste and find ways to also reduce the number of resources used to produce items. Production processes once moved in a linear fashion, from manufacture to use to disposal. This needs to change to a circular process, with a focus on reducing waste and reusing materials wherever possible. When reuse is not possible, materials will need to be recycled so that they can be repurposed in a new manner. While this will prove to be a net benefit for industry and the environment, it poses challenges for industries.
Rethinking supply chain logistics is complex and has proven to be too big a hurdle for some companies.
Reusable packaging is one way that companies are rethinking supply chain issues, but with mixed results. Thermal packaging is expensive however, some companies have seen cost savings with reusable packaging.
Need cold chain products? Contact Distinctive solutions today.