Applied Common Sense
Will the best packaging in the world survive a severe crash that sends a semi truck’s trailer tumbling down a mountainside? Probably not. Encase something in a titanium safe, and it will likely be pretty secure; but roll that safe down a hillside made of boulders and it might just pop open like a walnut. Physics doesn’t care about man’s preparations when certain events transpire.
If you’re transporting high-risk products, there are certain things which simply can’t be controlled. So instead of focusing on beating “reality”, instead focus on using common sense to avoid situations that could be potentially harmful. Especially if you’re transporting things like biotech materials—vaccines, viruses, genetic matter, etc.—you need to think critically.
Following we’ll briefly explore three ways you can more efficiently and safely transport materials that are on the higher end of the risk scale. Certainly, there are some packing solutions better than others, some routes better than others, and some conventions better than others. Different solutions are better or worse for different companies and materials.
1. Carefully Choose Routes and Vehicle Operators
South of Denver is the interstate which goes to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Elevation shifts several thousand feet over that sixty to seventy mile stretch of highway. How long it is depends on where you start and where you end. Regardless of the journey’s beginning, in the middle the road becomes winding, narrow, and there’s almost always construction.
A truck with hazardous materials will be turning left and right, going up and down, being passed by continuous traffic, and as a dangerous cherry on top, there’s likely going to be a notable amount of weather on that trip. A good driver can get through it without too much trouble. But even the best driver can’t anticipate a sudden blizzard that eschews forecasts.
A better move would be to change the route. What’s more important: fast delivery, or safe delivery? There are always alternative routes; they may just take longer. Find a less-trafficked route that isn’t involved with the interstate, and substitute fast transport and delivery for more secure delivery. High-risk materials tend to have high value, so the trade-off is often worth it.
Here’s a list of dangerous highways in Colorado; you might want to find similar lists throughout the country and organize routes which avoid known dangerous passages.
2. Assure You’re Utilizing Proper Storage Options
Many biological materials require cold storage of one variety or another, and companies like American Biotech Supply provide refrigerators that can be used for on-site or in-transit storage in a safe, secure way.
Though you can’t stop the driver of the vehicle, the conductor of the train, or the pilot of the plane from making some unforeseen mistake, you can certainly assure storage is at its best despite human error through proper refrigeration units designed expressly for the purpose.
3. Spare No Expense On Transport Vehicles and Big Data
If the materials are of a certain quality, it can be worthwhile to secure a private plane for transport and delivery. This would certainly be the case with something like plutonium. Certainly, not all materials are so valuable as to justify that kind of spending, though. Well then, fill the gap with real-time route monitoring solutions via IoT and Big Data.
Internet of Things devices can monitor where vehicles are on a given route, and can also be used in conjunction with cloud-based Big Data to determine if there are impediments which make a normal route less reliable than it could be. If there’s been a fire, or a wreck, or flash-flooding, you can divert vehicles beforehand.
More Reliable, Secure Transport Of High-Risk Substances
Get the right vehicles and technology, store biotech materials properly during transit, and carefully choose routes as well as vehicle operators in advance.
You can’t control everything during transportation, but there are some factors you can control, and the three explored here should do a lot to help assure whatever your transporting gets to its intended destination safely.