Medicines have always been transported in a very robust supply chain mechanism, right from factories to warehouses to the pharmacies. Maintaining the right temperature & security of the medicines is very critical, to protect its shelf life & prevent it from getting spoilt. Thus, pharmaceutical companies have cold chain warehouses, refrigerated vans & all other necessary infrastructure to transport products from Point A to Point B.
With consumer preference evolving & the rapid growth of door-step deliveries happening, pharmacies are not lagging behind either. They also want to do the last mile delivery of the medicines & other related products to their customers, however, the challenge of doing it right under correct conditions with appropriate setup is a challenge.
What is the use case about?
Delivery of medicines & other related products to the customers, on bike using temperature controlled delivery boxes.
Who are the stakeholders / parties involved?
Client: Aster Pharmacy Solution Provider: BikeKit
Dubai Health Authority & Department of Health, has mandated delivery of medicines to customers under the right temperature.
What are the Pre-Conditions?
LED Delivery box that can be mounted on a motorbike.
Temperature inside the delivery box to be maintained between 6 to 8*C throughout the day.
The delivery of medicines shouldn’t be disrupted due to increase of the box’s inside temperature.
What are the complexities that are involved?
In UAE, the Outside temperatures hovers at 40*C++ in for at least 4-5 months of the year.
Cooling solution cannot be ‘power based,’ because the bike battery cannot support high voltage or heavy power requirements.
The ice-packs available in the market do not sustain beyond 1 hour & hence requires frequent freezing for re-use. Not only a huge quantity of ice-packs would be required to deliver cold temperatures throughout the day, but repeated re-freezing will reduce the delivery efficiency significantly.
Alternative Solution Available
Refrigerated Trucks: This is an expensive proposition to do ‘Last Mile Delivery,’ as order value from individual customers is very small. It will make the whole business unviable.
Refrigerated Box: Some manufacturers in China are offering such a box. There are multiple challenges with this product:
These box sizes are too big & mounting them on a motorbike is difficult.
These boxes do not have LED lighting, which is mandatory in UAE.
Bike’s battery is insufficient to supply power to the box.
The cooling technology is based on the use of refrigerant gas. Such gas is neither easily available nor can be procured smoothly because of their classification as ‘Dangerous Goods.’
Insufficient availability of data to prove the ‘safety’ of such a box on a motorbike moving at speeds of 100+ Km/hr.
Flow Of Events
Aster Pharmacy – Leading Health care provider in the UAE approached Bikekit with the need of a cold delivery box that is compliant as per the regulatory norms.
Bikekit’s team understood the complete requirement in detail (as also defined in the pre-condition list).
BikeKit identified heavy insulation which is made from EPS material along with ‘Hard Case Ice Gel Packs.’
It was a challenge to integrate the ice gel packs in the insulation sheet. We couldn’t have used any permanent mechanism to keep them there, as they have to be taken out everyday for their freezing cycle. The bricks kept falling off from their compartment, as soon as the bike moved. So we developed special straps which can hold the ice bricks in their respective positions & at the same time, make it easier for the rider to take them out or place them back, as and when required.
After the successful creation of the complete solution i.e. LED Delivery Box + EPS Insulation + Hard Case Ice Gel Packs + Straps, our R&D team tested the box for 2 weeks.
Testing (Week 1): The box was kept outdoors, directly exposed to the sun, with outside day temperatures hovering between 45 to 49*C. During this test, we got a consistent temperature of 6 to 7*C inside the box. This was achieved within 30 mins of placing the ice bricks inside the box & the temperature was maintained between 6 to 9 *C for almost 9-10 Hrs of the day.
Testing (Week 2): We installed the box on the bike & did dynamic testing. The objective of this testing was to ensure that the ice bricks stay at their place & despite of the box being opened multiple times in a day to keep & take out medicines, the temperature was still maintained at 7 to 8*C.
After successful completion of the above tests, a sample box was given to Aster Pharmacy for trials & testing by their team also.
The successful delivery of desired results, made Aster Pharmacy confident of our product & a final order for 40 boxes was placed.
Main Success Story
The goal of doing last mile delivery of medicines & other similar products, in a bike delivery box at appropriate temperatures, was achieved successfully.
World’s first semi-knocked down or modular backlit LED boxes, is a ‘Patent Pending’ & ‘UAE Industrial Design’ approved product. The boxes serve the dual purpose of being used for doing deliveries & also enhancing brand visibility.
Keep your deliveries cold all the way from the store to the customers’ home. BikeKit’s boxes or bags can be equipped with customized high-grade EPS Insulation complemented with ‘Hard Case Gel Packs.’ It will help in delivering items like ice-cream, frozen items, meat, milk, chocolates and even medicines at the right temperature.
4 - 8 degree
8 - 10 hours
Other use cases
How Aster Pharmacy, one of the biggest healthcare players in UAE, uses BikeKit’s cold boxes to deliver medicines.