Risk Mitigation in Healthcare and Life Science Supply Chains

Transportation logistics are a crucial part of all healthcare and life science companies. Their supply chains consistently handle vital products like medication, raw materials and medical equipment with specific transportation needs. The vitality of these products requires constant monitoring to ensure your products are handled, contained, and transported correctly. 

Why is Risk Mitigation Important? 

The complex shipping requirements for healthcare products, like temperature-controlled shipping, mixed with high transportation costs and low visibility can have disastrous effects on your supply chain. Products can get stalled for any number of reasons, causing more trouble for these products with special requirements and risking the ultimate efficacy of your product.  

Patients globally are relying on the efficacy of healthcare products to have treatment for their ailments. Risk mitigation in the healthcare supply chain is essential so that you have full visibility of where your products are, how they’re handled, and can ensure they’re still in peak shape when they reach the patient.

Causes of Complications

The complexities within life science supply chains are vital to keeping products safe and effective for patients, but those factors make it that much more important to have a stronghold on your logistics. The sooner you’re able to identify possible causes for complications, the quicker you’ll be able to put a plan in place for mitigating those risks.

Temperature Control 

Many healthcare products must be kept at specific temperatures throughout the entire process of transportation. 31% of temperature-sensitive products need to be refrigerated, while 32% are not allowed to freeze. Improper storage of medication can have an impact on their effectiveness, or even make them life-threatening to patients. This requires supply chains to have enough visibility to ensure the products are transported in the correct carriers and are maintained at the correct temperature. 

Healthcare supply chains need clear communication and quality data to relay what products need to be held at certain temperatures. They also need continuous transportation management so that the product stays viable until it reaches its destination. From manufacturing until the last-mile delivery, numerous people are handling and transporting the product. 

These requirements make room for human error, including miscommunication and misconduct. When these risks become a reality, nonviable medication can flow through the supply chain, and end up in the hands of patients. Nonviable products may cause harm to the patients, adding the risk of lawsuits and a negative public view of the company.  Optimizing processes to mitigate these risks is crucial to avoiding nonviable medication and unhappy - or worse, hurt - patients.

Transportation Costs

As all industries are working to do more with less, even in supply chain, it is more difficult to manage costs of healthcare product transportation. Healthcare spending in the United States has grown to $10.43 trillion in 2021.  Prices are rising and competition is growing, making efficient transportation rank higher on healthcare supply chains priority lists 

Many expenses for transporting healthcare products are non-negotiable, as it would heighten the risk of products not being cared for correctly. Product transportation processes need to be smooth for healthcare and life science supply chain logistics, as temperature control is easily compromised. If carriers holding temperature-sensitive products are delayed, they may be exposed to unsafe temperatures or elements for too long. Sunlight or changing weather conditions can have an impact on product safety, increasing the need for smooth and efficient processes. 

Healthcare supply chain companies also have to manage the costs of drivers, fuel, and carrier equipment.  It can be difficult to predict finances and create a budget around fixed prices of product transportation. When transportation costs are not managed properly, it opens up the possibility for risks and miscalculation of costs, causing miscommunication and improper care of products.


Visibility is vital for ensuring product viability. The high number of hands and locations the products go through leaves room for human error and miscommunication. Due to the nature of healthcare products, they are a higher target for theft and tampering. If the product data is not always visible and they end up being lost in transport, it could cause a loss of revenue and harm public health. 

A lack of visibility can also cause misguidance in performance, inventory, and cost management. Without full access to relevant data, you’ll struggle to efficiently manage processes, identify disruptions, or ensure the safety of products throughout the transportation process.

Digitalization has become more crucial than ever to heighten visibility and prevent disruptions. If your company is dependent on paper-based systems for sharing important data, you are unable to become proactive in mitigating risks. Digitalization allows for the immediate sharing of accurate data so that healthcare companies can ensure the safety of their products while predicting disruptions and mitigating them before they occur.

Combat Complications with Trax

Every healthcare supply chain encounters complications and risks that come with temperature control, managing costs, and data visibility. Your company can be one step ahead of the game when combating these issues with Transportation Spend Management (TSM). 

Trax’s Transportation Spend Management solution provides your company with higher data quality, cost visibility, and forecast accuracy so that you can mitigate common risks within your supply chain. Trax will help your company manage transportation complexities and communication to ensure your products are always in the correct temperature-controlled carriers. With Trax’s full visibility, you can see where your product shipments are, and ensure that they are transported by the correct carrier. 

Overall, increasing visibility and easily accessible data will help your company mitigate risks. Healthcare and life science supply chains have a crucial responsibility to keep medical equipment and medications viable for public and personal well-being. Trax will provide your company with peace of mind with consistent visibility of your products while continuing to work with you to lower your risk. Visit our website to learn more, and schedule a consultation today to see how Transportation Spend Management can improve your healthcare supply chain.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.