Tower Cold Chain and Cardiff Business School collaborative study reveals the key to enhancing operational efficiency

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A study conducted by Cardiff University’s Business School has shed light on ways to model the logistics of ensuring the availability of temperature controlled shipping containers against the backdrop of a complex and dynamic global pharmaceutical transportation demand.

The government grant supported initiative, enlisted the expertise of scholars within Cardiff Business School’s Logistics and Operations Management section, whose objective was to test the feasibility of a decision support system (DSS) for Tower’s global distribution network using cutting edge modelling algorithms. Examining Tower’s historical shipment data, Cardiff Business School managed to construct a mathematical model which can show how the system can function holistically highlighting how containers might ‘flow’ around the global network of existing or even new hubs.  This can help to ensure empty movements and over-stocking are minimized – critical goals for Tower’s sustainability journey.  This would also lead to a corresponding benefit of reducing operational costs.

“Over the past two and a half years, our three-strong team of academics has worked with Tower Cold Chain to identify data derived strategies to reduce carbon emissions caused by non-value-added movements in cold chain distribution,” says Dr. Danny Mogale, a Lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management. “This has been a groundbreaking opportunity to challenge important research to provide tangible and impactful implementations.”

Since published, the research has been presented at international conferences in 2023, including the 27th Annual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and the International Symposium on Logistics (ISL).

“Managing the movement of our passive containers within our global network of hubs presents a highly intricate challenge,” says Kevin Doran, Head of Global Supply Chain at Tower Cold Chain.

“Cardiff Business School’s study demonstrated the feasibility of creating a decision support system.  On the success of this, Cardiff business School and Tower have agreed to embark on a multi-year collaboration to mature this methodology to revolutionise Tower’s processes; to create Smart stock-management and ultimately improve the availability of our containers for Tower’s customers, while simultaneously ensuring sustainable operations.”

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