New products, services and businesses appear at Cold Chain Global Forum

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Exhibition brings out the latest in temperature-controlled shipping

Businesses ranging from logistics giants like UPS and FedEx, to startups like SkyCell AG (Zurich) and Emo-Pim (Pickering, OH) put new products and services on display at the IQPC Temperature Management meeting (Chicago, Sept. 30-Oct. 4). The level of new business activity is impressive; more vendors continue to offer more options in temperature-controlled packaging, logistics and transportation services, and condition monitoring.

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Cases in point:

UPS Healthcare Logistics has created a “portfolio” of its Temperature True service, which provides specialized solutions for temperature-controlled shipping. Three levels of service will be offered in the near future: Plus, Standard and Saver. Plus service provides monitoring and intervention services for active and passive shipping containers; Standard service provides compliant service per pack-out requirements for passive containes; and Saver, to be launched next year, is a specified ocean-shipping service. Mark Davis, UPS marketing manager, notes that overall costs can scale down from Plus to Saver service, but the key is to maintain specified environmental conditions regardless of service level.

SkyCell is introducing a new pallet-sized container for air shipping, called the ThermoStable unit, that is constructed of 100% recyclable plastics and metal container materials, and phase-change material (PCM) that is centered at 6<deg>C (to prevent freezing). The company has also developed a modeling program to calculate thermal capacity based on shipping lanes.

FedEx Custom Critical is “soft launching” a new service, ShipmentWatch monitoring. Monitoring services of in-transit shipments are all the rage throughout cold chain management; what Custom Critical is now offering is built on its previously announced SenseAware platform, which is an electronic device that monitors and communicates shipping conditions. FedEx leases or sells the device; now Custom Critical will employ the device as part of an overall service.

American Aerogel (Rochester, NY), developer of a nanoporous vacuum insulation panels, now offers a container called the FlexSystem that has three compartments, rated for controlled-room, refrigerated and frozen temperature conditions in one package. Volumes of each compartment can be adjusted within the outer dimensions of 19x14x15 inches. Coolant life is rated for 24 or 48 hours.

Emo-Pim, a new company, has developed a container for shipping limited volumes of vaccines globally, in two sizes. The container employs a package certified by the World Health Organisation for vaccine delivery and added a “Pack in the Box” component that prevents freezing conditions to reach the payload. According to the company, upwards of 25% of vaccines shipped globally are rendered ineffective by being frozen while in transit.

CSafe (Dayton, OH) which, under the AcuTemp brand, had offered a high-performance, vacuum-panel-based shipping container, is offering a variety of container sizes that incorporate a thinner panel with expanded polyurethane (EPS) outer panels. The result is a lower-cost container—and one that provides extended temperature protection and a higher payload-to-shipping-container volume ratio. Coming up next: a container that replaces the EPS with recyclable corrugated cardboard. A similar combination EPS-vacuum panel product is being introduced by Sonoco/ThermoSafe (Arlington Heights, IL).

Cloud-based data-collection and -reporting systems are being introduced by ShockWatch (Dallas), under the TrekView brandname, and by Berlinger & Co. (Marietta, OH), under the Smartview name. The systems, which draw data from the respective companies’ instruments, provide visibility to shipment data, and varying degrees of remote-control setting of devices.