Boyle Transportation was one of the first road freight companies to transport Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer’s global supply manufacturing plant to distribution points across the US according to Great Dane.
Andrew Boyle, Co-President of the Massachusetts-based medicine and critical military material carrier, is adamant that the best practices, technology and equipment make these all-important deliveries possible.
“People should take comfort in the fact that this type of operation happens every day even without a pandemic,” Boyle told Great Dane. “The capabilities of transportation, logistics, and service providers in networks already exist. When it comes to packaging, there are skilled and talented packaging engineers and providers of cold chain solutions. For us, it’s business as usual, but that’s not usual for most motor carriers. We had all of the capabilities and the protocols established to transport the vaccine, so we didn’t have to create anything new.”
Boyle Transportation is reported to leverage proprietary technology to track and report on sensitive shipments. For its reefer trailer specs, the Boyle team leans on its partnership with Great Dane dealers to make sure its trailer equipment will meet its high expectations.
“We’ve had a longstanding relationship for 30 years or so with Northeast Great Dane, and they know our business very well,” said Boyle. “Having a relationship like this enables them to help advance our fleet through continually improving specifications that meet or exceed the client’s expectations. We rely heavily on the dealer to know our business and spec equipment with premium specifications to minimise downtime because when we’re transporting critical goods, failure’s not an option. The fact that we’ve never had a trailer fail is a testament to the high-quality product that Great Dane sells us.”
The Covid-19 vaccine needs to be kept at a cool and constant -70°C. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 per cent of vaccines are wasted globally every year the lack of temperature control and logistics support being a prime driver.
Boyle said it is not adequate to simply offer a pharma client a temperature-controlled trailer and say ‘Im ready to haul your product’.
“First, we have to go through an extensive validation process where we perform a thermal mapping study on the vehicle–this takes about 30 to 40 hours,” he said.
“Then, we do a heavy data analysis to determine each pallet space is being conditioned appropriately.
“We have multiple probes throughout the trailer, as well as the temp control unit; we use telematics systems to report that information into our headquarters.”
Boyle said the proprietary software provides clients with email status notifications and a website where they can see the shipment move in two-minute intervals.
“The truck is overlaid on a Google map and clients can see not only its route, but also its temperature history, and they can see it on their desktop or mobile device,” he said. “They also get a PDF temperature and position history of the shipment including graphical representation. We invest heavily in a software product that distills it down to what’s meaningful to the client.”
Boyle Transportation has been named one of the top 20 fleets to drive for in North America by the Truckload Carriers Association and was named the top fleet overall in 2020.