Assume the worst and do the utmost against it. True to this slogan of Mao Tse-tong, Delta Cargo, which otherwise has nothing to do with the former head of China's KP, is acting. This they do by utilizing DoKaSch provided battery powered RAP containers. By choosing this avenue, the safe transportation of C-19 vaccines and pharmaceuticals is warranted, Delta says.
Vaccines come first
Market experts largely agree on this point: As soon as the corona vaccines are available, there will be cut-throat competition in air freight. Priority in capacity booking will be given to goods such as vaccines or other overly sensitive products generating healthy margins, while airlines will put general cargo and alike less urgent items on the backburner.
This is as sure as eggs is eggs, caused by the worldwide lack of transport capacity due to the corona induced strong headwind passenger airlines are facing, making the availability of cargo holds in their bellies a game of chance.
To avoid this conflict, Delta Air Lines along with other carriers has decided to use Opticooler RAP containers offered and managed by ULD specialist DoKaSch-TS. This adds to the costs of air transports because the RAPs are premium products, the “Mercedes” of air freight. And Premium is always a bit more expensive. Leaving the cost issue aside, the Opticoolers have proven their worth when it comes to the carriage of sensitive commodities such as vaccines. This is confirmed by the U.S. carrier: “The safe, reliable and efficient transportation of pharmaceutical products is a key focus for Delta Cargo,” reads a release. That is why the Atlanta-based airline has approved the DoKaSch RAP cool-tainers for use on their fleet as part of Delta’s pharma program for the safe transportation of vaccines.
They can only be leased, not purchased. DoKaSch manages their flows and cares for their constant operability. Batteries maintain the boxes’ contents at the same temperature level throughout a journey, making the cool box an ideal device for shipments needing permanent 2-8° Centigrade or optionally 15-25°. Delta stresses that the Opticooler has a large control panel plus quadruple redundancy for all critical parts, meaning there are backups for each feature in case of failure. The large loading compartment easily accommodates five standard Euro pallets or four CP-1 pallets, plus the container has a large battery operating independently up to 120 hours and requires merely 2 to 4 hours battery-charging time.
“The introduction of the Opticooler provides our customers with more choice when looking for reliable container options to support the growing global demand for pharma and vaccine shipments,” said Shawn Cole, Delta's Vice President - Cargo. “Alongside our joint venture partners, Air France-KLM Cargo, we can now offer our customers a seamless experience across the trans-Atlantic, helping to keep supply chains moving and ensuring the safe delivery of temperature sensitive shipments during the current pandemic.”
Depots across the States
Driven by a similar motivation, United, Lufthansa and nearly 30 other airlines have meanwhile opted for this specific ULD solution, this way being right on the spot once the C-19 vaccines are available and produced in large quantities. And more are to come because DoKaSch is in talks with 3 to 4 other airlines, confirms MD Andreas Seitz of DoKaSch-Temperature Solutions.
“As for the USA, we can provide our Opticooler RAP containers to customers very quickly. We manage three different ULD depots across the USA, in addition to Washington DC, also in Chicago and Los Angeles,” explains Mr. Seitz.
He stressed that the Opticooler is the logical offer to combat the spread of C-19. “The sera will require a temperature range between 2°C and 8°C during transport, which is exactly what our Opticooler is made for.”
The Delta mission starts
Delta closes a gap in the service provider's network because the large pharmaceutical companies in North America are primarily located on the east coast of the USA up to Toronto in Canada and the Great Lakes, and they have a strong presence in California.
The RAP-Opticoolers are FAA and EASA certified and can be booked immediately, he says. IATA CEIV certified Delta needed half a year to be ready for the introduction of the cool box, making sure that all processes run well, and the staff can handle the RAP’s according to instructions.
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