Improving lives one critical shipment at a time

How managed transportation digitized operations to accelerate their life sciences delivery business

The logistics industry moves quickly… 

We wanted to offer—with absolute certainty—the very best managed transportation services for high-value shipments in the life sciences space.

Vice President, Operations

Leading U.S. Logistics Provider

In this Story


One of Coolfire’s clients is a leading ground and air courier services provider with a network of thousands of transportation specialists. They handle a large volume of mission-critical, time-sensitive shipments for life sciences customer clinical trials. These clinical trials are the primary way that life science researchers determine if new treatments–such as new drugs or medical devices–are safe and effective for public use.

For effective measurement, clinical trials require geographically distributed participants. Our client must meet rigid trial controls for research and development (R&D), including time-sensitive schedules, exacting requirements, and managing complex workflows. The results of these trials form the basis for approval by regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Failure to meet the delivery requirements could result in approval delays, costing the end client money and impact the courier company’s customer satisfaction and reputation. 

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Coolfire’s Challenge:
As their life sciences customer shipments scaled, they knew their existing systems and processes had to evolve as well. In order to stay competitive, they must offer courier prices based on an efficient labor model and delivery exceptional customer experiences. However, the logistics company was challenged with keeping a multitude of key stakeholders (pharmaceutical and medical device companies, trial patients, and the many transportation specialists within their network) all happy at once. Their Vice President of Operations said, “Upon reaching the 100 successful clinical trials landmark, we wanted to further optimize the integrity of the entire shipping lifecycle while making it more visible and collaborative to all stakeholders.”

Prior to partnering with Coolfire, our client had largely relied on its transportation management system (TMS) to track shipments. However, as their pharmaceuticals and life sciences business matured and customer requirements became more complex, new operational challenges arose, including the need for an enhanced chain of custody tracking, temperature control, managing supplies and asset returns, and overseeing driver certifications.

Enhanced chain of custody tracking

Monitoring and controlling temperature efficacy of shipments

Managing seamless capacity

Managing supplies and handling asset returns

Overseeing driver certifications

“Because competitors in the logistics industry were quickly moving into clinical trials, we wanted to offer—with absolute certainty—the very best managed transportation services for high-value shipments in the life sciences space,” said their VP of Operations. “This included full operational visibility of shipments in real-time as well as fast-moving team collaboration tools to orchestrate people and assets for quick decision-making when required.”

Coolfire’s Solution

Coolfire delivers a flexible last-mile solution to track the entire chain of custody for life sciences shipments.

Our client needed a more robust operating system to better manage day-to-day operations, but they didn’t want to replace their existing TMS platform. What they wanted was a solution to enhance and extend their TMS.

Coolfire Core provides a flexible solution—based on their unique workflow and business logic—that enables their TMS to serve as the single source of truth for all order and shipment information.

With Coolfire’s real-time integration into the TMS, all stakeholders are able to track the entire chain of custody in a centralized place. Third-party ground drivers are automatically assigned a Session, which organizes the TMS’s job data, enriches it with the order’s unique tasks and workflow, and captures cross-team communication. This means everyone is able to work with the latest information for each stage of the shipment – from pick up to delivery and everything in between.


This implementation has unlocked many features & benefits:

Tracking and Visibility

  • Centralized dashboard for customer and shipment data
  • Ability to upload instant temperature monitoring results at any point during the shipment lifecycle
  • End-to-end digital workflow tracking and progress visibility

  • Real-time view of available resources and seamless capacity

Task Execution & Collaboration

  • Streamlined team chatting and texting for each delivery
  • Capability to scan/upload pictures, documents, paperwork, checklists, and QR/barcodes
  • The capture of all communications within the context of a work order/delivery

Operational Efficiency

  • Data to enforce operational controls and create instant exceptions
  • Geofencing and other triggers for enforceable workflow
  • Full issue monitoring and task management
  • Tracking of driver certifications
  • Send share links to third-party drivers to manage shipments –so they don’t have to download and log in to an app

“We conducted a proof-of-concept pilot with Coolfire involving 10,000 life sciences shipments. Our success rate for these deliveries was 99.9%. This represented an increase of 1.1% from our prior rate before the deployment,” says their VP of Operations. “Given these shipments’ criticality and shelf life, there is practically zero room for mistakes—especially when lives are potentially on the line. Overall, we are extremely proud and excited about the results we’ve gotten from Coolfire Core in our life sciences business.”

The real magic provided by Coolfire occurs between the pickup and delivery. During the shipment lifecycle, Coolfire Core’s deeply configurable platform radically transforms operations from reactive to highly proactive.

Coolfire Core provides an entire landscape of operational visibility in one shared space–something few 3PLs have ever seen before. True end-to-end chain of custody is achieved through real-time views into the operations–not just a bunch of meaningless dots on a map. Updates, changes, and critical exceptions to shipping Sessions are instantly shared. These real-time glimpses keep people synchronized, moving, and working with the latest information.

Key Features in Use:

Centralized dashboard to monitor every customer and shipment in real-time

End-to-end digital workflow tracking and progress visibility

Capturing and archiving sensor data readings

Workflow enforcement to maintain operational controls and meet unique customer requirements 

Resource planning and allocation reporting to meet customer SLAs

Streamlined team chatting and texting within the context of a delivery

Geofencing and other triggers for enforceable workflow

Proof of delivery capabilities: scan/upload pictures, docs, paperwork, checklists, and QR/barcodes

Capturing and archiving all communications within the context of a work order/delivery

Full issue monitoring and task management related to life sciences shipments

Publicly shareable links to third-party drivers to manage deliveries without downloading an app

Tracking of driver certifications

In addition to achieving better tracking, collaboration, and quality assurance for their life sciences shipments, our client has measured a significant decrease in tracking and tracing efforts, the elimination of overtime, and an overall 50% reduction in order processing time.

The operational efficiencies they’ve gained are undeniable. They’re now looking to apply Coolfire Core to other areas of their business, including non-life sciences deliveries, driver onboarding processes, and customer service operations.

Defeat operational chaos in Last-Mile Logistics

Centralizing last-mile operations into a single view helps logistics companies keep its fast-moving operations organized, communicate in real-time, and make decisions based on the delivery context. Get your operations under control with Coolfire Core.

Both regional ops managers and central HQ see the location, status, and ETA for delivery–allowing the team to communicate and coordinate their actions. 


Mobile views help drivers see their drive details, capture proof of delivery materials, and manage the entire chain of custody visibility.

The future of life sciences courier delivery operations

As top-performing organizations recognize the impact of Coolfire, they quickly identify other places to apply the tech. Coolfire Core’s ability to organize cross-functional team tasks, workflow, and communication in the work context allows them to manage complex and chaotic situations with ease. They now see how organizing these aspects of any operation is helpful for non-life science deliveries, driver onboarding processes, and even within their customer service department.

Keep your fast-moving operations organized and deliver customer experiences that keep you ahead of the competition with Coolfire Core