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The Balance of Effective Cold Chain Transportation

14 March 2018

Cold chain transportation requires a delicate balance of multiple services, all executed with care and compliance. It’s used extensively in the science sector to ensure the safe movement of sensitive goods such as samples, medicines and more. Here we explain the importance of getting specialist cold chain transportation services on-side when planning a laboratory move or relocation.

What is cold chain transportation?

Cold chain management refers to the maintenance of a constant temperature during the handling and transportation of temperature-sensitive goods. It’s mostly used in the food industry and within laboratories, where a difference of just one Celsius could have dramatic consequences – especially where medical research is involved. The terminology denotes a key aspect of careful management and transportation – as the ‘chain’ refers to an ongoing set of conditions that must never be broken or altered.

Why is effective cold chain transportation and management important?

Cold chain transportation and management is perhaps most important when working within laboratories, as so many ingredients, individual elements and biological samples require specialist attention if they are to be handled or moved. Vaccines, serums and tests for infection are all examples of goods requiring stringent cold chain management. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics, which maintain a desired low-temperature range. Breaking this temperature range could seriously compromise any results, potentially ruining months of painstaking research or causing hundreds of retests, delaying vital results.

Choosing the right provider with appropriate credentials is key

Given the importance of cold chain transportation, choosing a reliable partner to guide and manage the process is key when planning a relocation or arranging courier services for lab equipment. At Johnsons we follow a strict, carefully developed process that ensures the cold chain is never broken. We specialise in handling samples, medical supplies and other temperature-controlled goods. Our expert handlers all work in line with current GLP legislation and deal with all aspects of the process, from packaging and transportation solutions to clearance, storage and customs clearance.

Johnsons provides specialist lab services and cold chain transportation throughout the UK for large and small removal projects. Get in touch with our expert advisors today to organise a plan tailored to your specific requirements.


“We have very positive feedback from the end users regarding all the crews involved in the move. Indeed at a steering group meeting this week one of the senior scientist not only praised the move teams but also requested if the same teams could be used for the move into the CL2 building next year.”

The Pirbright Institute

“The Johnsons team worked well with our own internal project team to make the overall move a success. The main phase went without any significant issues, and this was a testament to the close management and supervision of the Johnsons team at both sites during the 3 days of the move.”

Mark Garrod, Redx Pharma

“We have a good working relationship and specifically use Johnsons as they are competitive, always turn up on time with the correct number of operatives, and their removal team is always courteous which matters especially when patients and our staff are affected.”

David Shepherd, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

“Johnsons Laboratory Logistics have been providing relocation services to us for a number of years now. They are competitive, reliable and trustworthy.”

Iain Ramsey, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

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