Navigating Extreme Weather to Collect and Deliver Critical Samples


Marken had been working with a client for several years on a study which treats babies with immune disorders. One baby in Boston was suffering from a severe immune deficiency and was in Phase II of a clinical trial using an interferon-gamma compound.

The client scheduled a shipment for pickup in Boston to be delivered to its laboratory in North Carolina, however, a blizzard was dumping more than two feet of snow in the area. The storm brought strong winds across Massachusetts and more than 200,000 homes were without power.

The blizzard shut down Boston Logan International airport and all New York City airports also faced significant delays and cancellations. This meant the sample could not be shipped via air from the region.

Due to the worsening condition of the extremely ill baby as described by the client, Marken knew it was critical to somehow get the shipment delivered on time and within specifications to the lab in North Carolina.



Marken team members advised the client of the worsening weather conditions and the potential impact on transportation for the shipment. Utilizing decades of experience, a proactive and flexible contingency plan was created and implemented to ensure the critical shipment was not affected by the weather.

Our teams in Boston, New York and Philadelphia worked together to drive the sample in a 4WD vehicle from Boston to Philadelphia, the closest airport with operational flights. From Philadelphia, the shipment was then placed on a flight to Raleigh for the last mile of delivery to the laboratory.

Careful coordination between all branches along with frequent client updates ensured a successful outcome. The driver carefully navigated the poor road conditions in the Northeast to deliver the shipment to Philadelphia International Airport, and the client was alerted when it arrived at Raleigh- Durham International Airport the following morning.

Marken’s driver was waiting at RDU airport to receive the shipment and once he collected the sample he reached out to the client to confirm receipt and the delivery time at the laboratory.



Despite the challenging weather conditions, the shipment was delivered without issue within 24 hours and specifications. The client was incredibly thankful for Marken’s quick response and the measures taken to ensure the sample arrived at the laboratory within a short timeframe. Our flexibility and capability to develop and implement a contingency plan on short notice due to extreme weather conditions helped a sick baby receive vital treatment.


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