Cold chain service options multiply

Kuehne-Nagel and IAG Cargo showcase new capabilities

Growing volumes of life sciences products (commercial deliveries, clinical trial materials and medical devices) requiring temperature-controlled shipment are attracting more and more vendors to the market. Some of these were on display at the recent Cold Chain & Temperature Management Global Forum held by the IQPC conference company (Chicago, IL; Sept. 24—28).

The event was something of a coming-out party for two new international logistics services: PharmaChain from Kuehne + Nagel (Basel, Switzerland), and IAG Cargo Constant Climate, the expansion of British Airways’ existing service into its merger with Cargo Iberia. IAG Cargo, the name of the combined company, now has hubs in London and Madrid, and will have approximately 21 facilities of Iberia, worldwide, staffed and trained for its Constant Climate service, added to 74 existing BA Constant Climate stations.

Kuehne + Nagel, which provides international cold chain services by contract with air carriers (rather than its own fleet), has built up a network of more than 60 KN PharmaChain stations, within its global logistics network; the company says that it has committed over $20 million and 12,000 man-hours of training, in addition to building out facilities and IT systems. A component of PharmaChain is what Kuehne + Nagel calls KoolZones, which provide dedicated refrigerated storage capacity for frozen, refrigerated and controlled room-temperature conditions. All this is backed up with a tracking system, including wireless technology, for shipment monitoring.

These services will be competing with similar offerings from United Air Cargo, American Airlines, Southwest Air, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and the cargo services of DHL, DB Schenker, FedEx and UPS (among others).