Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
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SmartSensor & Thermonet for secure shipment of pharmaceutical products

Many medicines and pharmaceutical precursors are temperature sensitive. Liquid-form pharmaceuticals in particular can lose their potency and efficacy if exposed to frost or excessively high temperatures. While the material damage to these products is one concern, administering compromised drugs to needy patients can be life-threatening.

With its SmartSensor GSM, DHL has created a monitoring system that measures temperature and humidity, registers a package's exposure to daylight and transportation shock, and tracks the shipment location, providing an effective defense against theft or counterfeiting during transport.

Using SmartSensor RFID technology, another sensor in the product family, DHL developed the innovative air freight product DHL Thermonet in 2013. Thermonet ensures product integrity during the entire logistics cycle and makes it possible to intervene quickly in the event of cold-chain disruption. In the reporting year, we introduced the DHL Thermonet standard in over 30 of our life sciences competence centers and will continue rolling it out towards our goal of 60 stations by the end of 2014.

DHL Thermonet is a comprehensive system for seamless, end-to-end monitoring of the transport process. The SmartSensor technology gathers data at designated checkpoints between each shipment's origin and destination and then uploads it to an online portal. As a result, variations in ambient temperature can be linked to specific transport stages. In addition, Thermonet’s security mechanisms prevent data from being read or manipulated by unauthorized third parties.

On the web portal, ambient temperature data is linked to individual shipment journey data and stored in a manipulation-safe manner for up to ten years. The data platform, known as the LifeTrack IT platform, complies with Title 21 of the US Code of Federal Regulations Part 11. Thermonet's quality management system also fulfills the requirements of the European Union’s Guidelines on Good Distribution Practice for appropriate storage and distribution of medicinal products. At the end of the day, our customers can count on legal and standard-compliant transport of their medicinal products, and end consumers can count on receiving effective pharmaceutical products.