Exclusive – Cool Containers are Saving Lives

The header might sound dramatic but its message is more than true. Without adequate ground handling and air transport of vaccines, pharmaceutical products or blood-plasma the consignments get spoiled and could severely harm or even endanger the life of patients if not removed or destroyed prior to treatment.
In his presentation at the Shanghai-held World Cargo Symposium (WCS) starting tomorrow (10 March) MD Andreas Seitz of ULD manager DoKaSch Temperature Solutions GmbH presents his firm’s products and outlines the luring risks within the supply chain for medical and other sensitive goods.

Loading of DoKaSch’s Opticooler  /  company courtesy
Loading of DoKaSch’s Opticooler / company courtesy

Sweden’s ULD specialist Envirotainer is facing growing competition on its traditional core biz – the provision of active temperature-controlled containers for air transports. Its main challenger is fast growing DoKaSch Temperature Solutions GmbH, located at Rhine-Main Airport, which lately has marketed their new series of active temp-controlled containers – called Opticoolers – extremely successfully. This is proven by utilization agreements concluded with renowned carriers such as Emirates SkyCargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Swiss WorldCargo and also AirBridgeCargo.
And more are to come, presumably.

Easy to handle
According to Herr Seitz, a major advantage offered to clients by DoKaSch’s active containers is besides the device’s superior technical features the reduction of complexity, since long one of the major obstacles and sources of errors in air freight. “All it needs to keep the inside temperature of our active container at the constant level demanded by specific products over longer times is to charge and re-charge the batteries periodically. Just plug it in and monitor if all is working, it’s as easy as that,” assures the manager.

Important basic aspects need to be considered
But, in the same breath he emphasizes that a number of important requirements have to be observed to keep the goods cool from beginning to end. As it is an active system with compressors, fans, heat exchangers, air in-and outlets, on board computer, electronic compartment: there is continuous power consumption. It should be plugged in whenever, wherever possible. He recommends that the unplugged time on the ground must be reduced to a minimum. In case of ground transports over longer distance, say, on way from the arrival airport to the site of the consignee, reefer trucks should be used to exclude major temperature fluctuations. Also Andreas points out that at warehouses his firm’s Opticoolers should never be stored in small, closed rooms without ventilation.

Andreas Seitz
Andreas Seitz

Careful treatment is a must for all users
After a run, too, a number of requirements must be observed, he stresses. For example, an empty container must be fully charged immediately after usage, and it should be switched off after usage to save batteries from depth discharge.
Final recommendation from Andreas, he intends delivering to Shanghai’s WCS attendees: “Most of all, treat our active temperature controlled containers as carefully as life saving medicine for you or your children, your family or friends!”
If not, the box’s contents might get spoiled and – if undetected – could endanger the life of recipients of blood components, sera or other life-sustaining products.
DoKaSch is an independent family-run supplier of the air cargo industry since 25 years. The firm started producing and marketing its first Pharma Cool Containers in 2004, developed in close cooperation with Lufthansa Cargo. In 2010, the first runs of their Active Opticoolers started successfully, followed two years ago by the setup of a rental network for this specific air-conditioned device.

Heiner Siegmund

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