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Kevin Kohleriter

How Building a Resilient Supply Chain Helped Rapid Aid Customers

Covid, Inflation, Costs, and Labor. How Building a Resilient Supply Chain Helped Rapid Aid Customers Meet Demand During Uncertain Times.

By | cold pack, Hot Pack

Over the last few years, supply chains worldwide have taken a beating, and most are feeling the impact of disruptions on global trade. A recent study by analyst firm Statistica[1] showed that manufacturing took the brunt of these disruptions due to raw materials, labor, and cargo capacity shortages. In fact, the global economy saw a 3.4 percent drop in economic growth, resulting in over two trillion U.S. dollars of lost economic output.

The impact of the shortages has resulted in abrupt price increases for consumers and a loss of reputation for many companies.

Companies are bouncing back, but with inflation on the rise, the Rapid Aid team has been and continues to apply risk mitigation techniques that provide stability and consistency for our customers.

With production already in three countries, our team was able to use our existing relationships in those countries to help keep a close eye on production costs, tariffs, and other factors that may cause delivery delays and adjust as needed. This focus on customer delivery and quality resulted in the fact that during Covid, not a single customer delivery was missed.

Let’s look at a few methods we used to protect our customers’ brands.

Supply Chain Resilience from Supplier Diversity

You may not think about all the raw materials that go into a reusable hot and cold pack or instant heat pack. Everything from the plastic used in the bags to the many different ingredients to make our gel and the cardboard boxes used to ship products out of our facilities is sensitive to price and availability.

For example, the cardboard box industry saw more demand over the pandemic as consumers increasingly turned to e-commerce — where the cardboard box is king. Compounded by a reduction in wartime timber exports from Ukraine and Russia, we’ve seen a significant impact on the price and availability of paper and corrugate.

Equally challenging was the access to the raw materials, such as fertilizer, used in instant cold packs. The war, compounded by Covid lockdowns in China, created supply shortages that increased costs.

As prices increased or shortages were predicted, our manufacturing teams located diverse suppliers in other countries who could meet our needs. Combined with multi-country manufacturing facilities, we maintained production volume and quality without impacting the customer.

Over the years, we have created hundreds of unique product types as user demands change. Each solution may require new manufacturing techniques, materials, and suppliers. This diversification has created more resiliency.

Location. Location. Location.

Rapid Aid has wholly owned manufacturing facilities in Canada, China, and Vietnam. By placing our facilities in these areas of the world, we have access to raw materials, a robust and competitive labor market, and favorable tariffs.

Tariffs vary from country to country

A tariff is a tax imposed on imported or exported goods. The tariffs applied to imports from China were so significant that moving production to our facility in Vietnam provided substantial savings to our customers while retaining control over quality and delivery schedules.

The Overseas Labor Market

A stable labor market is essential to produce hot and cold packs at a consistent volume.

China and Vietnam have robust labor markets due to many factors, including a large population, relatively low wages, and government policies promoting economic growth and foreign investment. Additionally, both countries have experienced significant economic development in recent years, leading to increased demand for labor and a growing middle class. Additionally, Vietnam has a relatively young population, which also drives the robust labor market.

We focused on regional labor markets, such as Vietnam, during lockdown periods or when staffing may be of concern during low unemployment periods.

Evaluating Modes of Transport

At the beginning of the pandemic, some ports closed temporarily to limit the spread of the virus. This caused disruptions in international trade and led to delays in the movement of goods. Additionally, some countries imposed additional health protocols and quarantine measures for ships, crews, and cargo, which led to further delays.

Since many of our raw materials are procured in Asia and production occurs in those facilities, the Rapid Aid team worked with our international connections to move raw material shipments from China to Vietnam via truck. This avoided production shutdown in those facilities and the major ports altogether. For inbound shipments from Asia, we moved away from the port of Los Angeles to Vancouver, which experienced fewer issues than the LA port.

In addition, since Canada has the advantage of being in North America, where transportation is more cost-effective and cross-border policies are more favorable, we could avoid U.S. ports and the rising costs of ocean freight. We could also ship many of our products directly from the Canadian facility to the rest of North America without incurring delays.

With port delays, many of our customers requested we ramp up production to account for potentially longer delivery times. With manufacturing capabilities, we were able to meet capacity.

Our Brand is Your Brand

Rapid Aid is the sole owner of all North American and Asian production facilities. Ownership has two benefits: Ramping up manufacturing production as the need arises and providing quality control via a single source manufacturer. You get 100% of your supply directly from the source.

We are also experts in monitoring quality and process control, spending decades understanding (and exceeding) the global compliance requirements necessary to provide customers with the highest quality and safest products. These include our status as ISO 13485 certified, a Class 1 and 11 FDA registered medical device manufacturer with the FDA, Health Canada, the EU and Great Britain.

From senior management to production, the team at Rapid Aid takes pride in the products we manufacture. We market our product as a private label product and our Rapid Relief brand. Enough that both lines are treated with the same quality assuring your company’s reputation is safe using us as a quality manufacturer and reliable partner.

Supply chain disruptions can come in many forms, natural disasters, political instability, supplier bankruptcy, and more. That’s why powerful brands worldwide turn to us and offer them global access to manufacturers, labor, and supplies that keep production costs in check while also improving supply. With our team of specialists, we’ve become experts in supply chain resilience.

Thank you for your trust in us. If you have any questions or want to discuss your concerns, feel free to contact us.


benefits of cold gel eye mask

Benefits of A Cold Gel Eye Mask

By | cold pack

There is a long way to go before the days of Zoom meetings and long hours sitting in front of the computer will be past us. Thanks to COVID-19, the hours staring at our screens create their own problems. Many of us wake up with tired eyes and deal with eye strain and headaches. One simple, drug-free solution you may not have considered for soothing your eyes is using a gel eye mask.

For days when you need a bit more help with your self-care routine, a therapeutic gel eye mask will help you unwind and relax. Used both for relief from headaches and reducing puffiness and sinus congestion, gel eye masks are perfect for better mornings and brighter days.

What Are Cool Gel Eye Mask?

While sleep masks have been around for years and are commonly used to block out light for lasting sleep, most only provide the ability to block light and help you sleep. It does not, however, help you with migraines and other ailments.

These masks add an extra layer of support by containing a soothing gel that reduces puffiness and dark circles under-eye. Cooling eye mask benefits the sensitive skin around the eyes.

Suffer from migraines?

A cold washcloth on your head and eyes helps, but often the cloth slips from the head and makes the pillow wet. Some masks, such as those from Rapid Aid, provide an adjustable strap that will keep it from falling down your face. Gel mask stays cold much longer than just a washcloth.

Take a nap and wake up refreshed

Are you one of those people who enjoy a short catnap during the day? A reusable cooling gel eye mask for 20 minutes can give you the same benefits as a much longer power nap, boosting your productivity and helping you to wake up refreshed.

The Benefits of Cool Mask

Cooling your gel ice eye mask for eyes is as simple as sticking it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before you want to use it. The cool gel ice pack is designed to bring you 20 minutes of soothing coolness. With its placement over the eyes, cheeks, temples, and forehead, masks can bring relief to several ailments. Bring relief to your headaches by slipping on your mask. The coolness can even offer ease for migraine sufferers.

Cold treatments are also a remedy for cosmetic reasons. If you suffer from bags under your eyes due to fluid retention, lack of sleep, allergies, or other causes, gel ice packs for eyes formed to fit comfortably over the area are a natural solution. The cool gel can also reduce the appearance of dark circles. It does this by constricting the blood vessels in the skin surrounding your eyes, reducing inflammation.

The Benefits of Warm Mask

You can also warm your gel mask, but make sure you follow the instructions that come with it. Warm gel masks can bring moisture to the area, relaxing the muscles and allowing water into cells around the eye. This can be helpful for people with itchy, painful, and dry eyes. Warm masks are also commonly used to relieve sinus congestion.

The case for Cold Gel Masks today

Recent events have heightened everyone’s stress levels, adding to inflammation and tension headaches. Remote work and increased video conferencing have made it necessary to spend our day’s working for hours in front of screens.

Now, more than ever, people around the world could use some relaxation. If you want to add some warm or cool relief to your daily routine, get yourself a gel eye mask from Rapid Aid.

Available as both Rapid Aid brand and white label solutions, this product is available in any quantity. Contact Rapid Aid for additional product information and secure a gel eye mask product for your customers or patients.

Rapid Aid and Woodbridge Co-Develop Innovative Packaging Solution for Vaccine Distribution

Rapid Aid and Woodbridge Co-Develop Innovative Packaging Solution for Vaccine Distribution

By | News and Events

Rapid Aid and Woodbridge Co-Develop Innovative Packaging Solution for Vaccine Distribution

New Vaccine-Specific, Cold Chain Packaging System Provides 48-hour Temperature Stability without Dry Ice for Covid-19 and Other Temperature Sensitive Vaccine Shipments

TempAid qualified packaging for Covid-19 vaccines - 3D model

A 3D model shows the configuration of the +2°C to +8°C qualified packaging solution

Woodbridge and Rapid Aid’s TempAid™ division today announced co-development of a 48-hour packaging solution designed to deliver optimal temperature stability for vaccine distribution shipments.

The patent-pending TempAid Rugged Vaccine Shipper is a qualified, reusable cold chain packaging solution tested to keep vaccines, such as the Covid-19 vaccine, at a consistent temperature for up to 48 hours without additional refrigeration. The packaging system is now in use with a major vaccine manufacturer and is proven to be a cost-effective alternative to other solutions, including refrigerated transportation.

Mission-critical vaccines, such as those manufactured for the Covid-19 pandemic, must be kept at a consistent temperature from the time of manufacture to their end destination. Vaccine exposure outside recommended temperature ranges can decrease their potency, diminishing the effectiveness and protection they provide. Logistics and handling errors can cost thousands of dollars in wasted vaccine and revaccination.

The Rugged 48-hour solution was designed for easy assembly and does not require dry ice, making it safe to handle during pack out or at the destination.

The packaging system was designed with reuse in mind consisting of reusable, recyclable materials that enable a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to single-use packaging. The solution consists of 100 percent recyclable materials:

Two options are available today in volume, either 5°C or -21°C, to meet the needs of today’s vaccine requirements. The solution is laboratory tested for up to 48 hours of protection using the ISTA Procedure 7D Summer Profile to maintain between either +2°C to +8°C or -25°C to -15°C (depending on the option required). It is also tested to ISTA Procedure 3A Standards for Packaged Products for Parcel Delivery and Shipment. ISTA 3A is a physical test for shock and vibration to insure the vaccines don’t get damaged in transport.

Download the data sheet here. To learn more, go to www.tempaid.net/rugged.

4 675x475 2

Rapid Aid Announces New Cold Chain Packaging Division

By | News and Events

The new business unit meets the need for cost-optimized and sustainable packaging solutions for temperature-controlled markets

TempAid LogoRapid Aid, the industry leader in hot and cold solutions for healthcare, food, and retail industries, today announced the establishment of a new business unit focused on helping companies maintain temperature stability of their products while in shipment or storage. The new division, branded as TempAid™, includes a focused leadership team, an in-house ISTA member lab, and large-scale manufacturing capability in Canada, Vietnam, and China.

“With over 40 years designing and manufacturing millions of hot and cold packs for the medical and retail markets, the entry into the cold chain packaging market was a natural fit,” said Jeff Whitely, president at Rapid Aid Corp. “Our focus on quality, logistics, and price-conscious manufacturing translate well into the packaging industry where margins are as important as quality and on-time delivery.”

This new TempAid division is already leading the way in terms of cost and sustainable products with a full line of gel packs, PCMs, and insulated coolers. Recent innovations include the EarthWise™ drain-friendly product line, whereby the gel pack’s ingredients can be dumped down the drain after use without environmental concerns, and several durable gel packs and PCMs usable for closed-loop shipping environments. The company has over 25 insulated cooler products, over 50 different styles and sizes of gel packs, and several qualified, tested solutions configurable to almost any requirement and tested to the ISTA standard for quality and reliability.

Clients find that the company’s long history of white-label, custom development has made Rapid Aid’s new division ideal for protecting meal kits, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and life sciences products.  The company is a member of the International Safe Transit organization (ISTA), a leading industry developer of testing protocols and design standards in the packaging industry.

For specific industries with exact temperature requirements, several custom solutions are already developed, tested, and available via in-house engineering and an ISTA compliance lab.

For more information about the new division, available products, and capabilities, visit their webpage at www.tempaid.net.

Rapid Aid Safety and Compliance 1024x727

Why we don’t use ammonium nitrate in our instant cold pack or cold chain transportation products

By | News and Events

To enhance public security, in 2010 the Government of Canada enacted the Restricted Components Regulations (“RCR”) regulation which govern the sale of ammonium nitrate having a nitrogen concentration between 28% and 34% (“AN”). These regulations are consistent with other regulatory measures pertaining to ammonium nitrate which have been adopted, or are being considered, in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.

The RCR attempts to prevent AN from being acquired for terrorist or criminal purposes as AN can, under certain circumstances, be used as an explosive. The RCR impose various security, inventory control, record keeping, and customer identification requirements upon each seller of AN.

AN is used by many entities as the active ingredient in Instant Cold Packs (“Cold Products”) for some time. While the amount of AN in these Cold Products is small, the company discontinued the use of AN in our Cold Products and instead use calcium ammonium nitrate (“CAN”) in place of AN.

The use of CAN continues to allow our company to provide Cold Products that meet established performance requirements for Instant Cold Packs while at the same time, not subject to the public security concerns associated with AN. Using CAN contributes to the security of the general public. We can also relieve our customers of the need to comply with the increasingly global regulatory requirements associated with the purchase and sale of AN.

Please note that should your company sell Ammonium Nitrate Instant Cold Packs from other suppliers that are a nitrogen concentration of between 28 to 34 percent, then your company will need to register as a seller of Ammonium Nitrate.

What you can do?

For your information, we have attached a link to the RCR which require sellers of AN in Canada to register with the Canadian Government and to implement various internal security and customer identification requirements: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2008-47/index.html.

While Rapid Aid solutions have enacted this change since 2010, if you have been working with manufacturers outside the US or carry older stock of products, you should check your stocks, update your sales literature and web site information and alert customers and resellers if you suspect them to use the AN.

If you need to replace this product with safer, compliance products, contact Rapid Aid for a custom quote on a cold product.

Tag: Personal Protection Equipment



Rapid Aid Begins Production of 300,000 Face Shields Per Week

By | News and Events

Rapid Aid today announced full production of their new line of face shields to meet the needs of healthcare, government, retail personnel, and food preparation workers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Face shields, masks, and other forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been in exceptionally high demand since the outbreak grabbed global headlines. The new product solves the need for consistent access to cost-effective, high-quality face shields that meet regulatory requirements for safety.

Reporting in the April 29 Journal of the American Medical Association[1], experts led by Dr. Eli Perencevich, of the university’s department of internal medicine, and the Iowa City VA Health Care System stated, “Most important, face shields appear to significantly reduce the amount of inhalation exposure to influenza virus, another droplet-spread respiratory virus (similar to Covid-19). In a simulation study, face shields were shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96% when worn by a simulated health care worker within 18 inches of a cough.” 10

The Rapid Aid face shield provides maximum protection for the wearer’s face while keeping vision unencumbered, even while wearing glasses. The lightweight and ergonomic design mean the wearer can stay comfortably protected for extended periods. The full-face product is constructed of lightweight PET plastic to prevent bacterial contamination. All units are protected on both sides from dust, static, and fog caused by moisture and meet the regulatory requirements of the FDA and Health Canada.

Each face shield comes fully assembled and individually wrapped. With this newly installed capacity, Rapid Aid can deliver up to 300,000 units per week as either bulk, palletized shipments, or separately packaged units and boxes. At this level of production and the company’s global distribution channels, the product can be produced and delivered cost-effectively anywhere in the world.

Jeff Whitely, President & CEO of Rapid Aid, states, “the overwhelming demand for face shields and other PPE far outweighs today’s stockpiles and manufacturing capabilities. In many cases, what is available today is not built with the quality or regulatory standards in mind to protect the wearer.” Whitely describes the product as “an effective deterrent in preventing wearers from not only transmitting infectious diseases but from touching their faces. Face shields serve as a constant reminder to maintain social distancing while allowing visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.”

Rapid Aid face shields are available now and can be shipped in volumes of several hundred thousand. Private labeling options are also available in quantity. For pricing and availability, contact Rapid Aid today


1  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2765525

Tag: Personal Protection Equipment

Oakbille Hospital Golf tournment 2019

A great day on the greens for Oakville Hospital Charity Golf Tournament

By | News and Events

Rapid Aid was proud to support the Oakville Hospital Foundation at its Charity Golf Tournament yesterday at the Greystone Golf Club in Milton.

An annual event, this years funding goes towards supporting surgery at the hospital.

Beautiful weather and a great day on the course running the women’s and men’s longest drive contest. We saw some pretty spectacular long drives – well over 300 yards!

Find out more about the Oakville Hospital Foundation