Sofrigam shows how to reduce cool chain airfreight costs
Press Release | Sofrigam S.A
APRIL 12, 2017
Sofrigam has released a new ‘How To’ guide to aviation transport of medicines that provides tips on integrating air cargo into the cold-chain logistics pipeline.
“Increasing numbers of boxes for vaccinations, cancer drugs, insulin pens, and other heat-sensitive products need to be shipped on aircraft,” Sofrigam says.
“Transporting these products by air while keeping them within exact temperature ranges pose particular challenges that can only be met by using the right processes and technology,” says the French-based specialist.
Maintaining cold-chain integrity in transit
The primary challenge is keeping the cold chain of sensitive medicines intact throughout the storage stages and various transfers involved in air cargo, says Sofrigam.
“The biggest obstacles are in transit, where the packaging solution must pass through both open and closed segments. These will involve the package to significant temperature fluctuations.
“For example, the package will pass over the airport tarmac (open segment), experiencing a temperature of more than +30°C then transit through a closed segment customs loop where the temperature reduces to around +20°C before reaching a temperature-controlled area at +5°C. The wide range of temperatures encountered in this circuit requires a reliable method for storing heat-sensitive products within the required temperature range,” Sofrigam points out.
XXL Pallet shipper:
Sofrigam first began to revolutionize the palletized transportation of heat-sensitive medicines by airplane in 2002, with the development of its innovative Pallet Shipper XXL refrigerated container.
Pallet Shipper is a completely autonomous packaging solution that stores fresh pharmaceutical products at cool chain compliant temperatures of between +2°C and +8°C, at controlled room temperature (+15/+25°C) or frozen (-18°C). Its internal volume of more than 1,900 liters can directly accommodate a standard European or North American pallet while the whole XXL package is perfectly sized and shaped to occupy exactly one quarter of an air cargo standardized container, optimizing space, cutting handling times and reducing shipping costs.
The internal configuration is adapted to direct loading of eutectic plates and enabling airflows that maintain even temperature within the Shipper, allowing load to remains at constant temperature for up to 120 hours, enough to cope with the longest flight.
Tips and tricks
The Sofrigam ‘How to’ guide on temperature-controlled air transport, available on the company’s website, also provides a list of tips for minimizing the air transportation costs of medicines. These include:
- Match medicine needs with actual logistical circuit to avoid using an ‘over engineered’ solution that will be more expensive to purchase, overloaded with costly eutectic plates and thus involve needless weight and volume at the expense of pallet payload.
- Maximize loading format of the insulated packaging solution to transport maximum number of medicines in single shipment.
- Optimize packaging solution to provide closest fit between external size and target payload to maximize use of standardized air cargo platform.
- Select packaging containers with internal slots and fixtures that facilitate loading to reduce handling time.
- Use insulated packaging solution adapted to the size of standardized airfreight platforms for shipment of large consignments of medicines.
- Consider customized packaging solutions for particularly complex logistical circuits or specific requirements.
“The challenges of transporting heat-sensitive medicines on aircraft are significant,’ says Sofrigam.
“Nevertheless, good management of the cold chain and the correct choice of insulated packaging solution will help to control and optimize specific aspects to achieve an overall reduction in airfreight costs that can be very significant,” the company concludes.
French-based Sofrigam S.A. designs and manufactures cool chain pharmaceutical shipping solutions and insulated boxes for the life sciences industries as well as for distribution and logistics companies.
The company was founded in 1979 by an industrial pharmacist and initially developed eutectic painkillers before specializing in the design and manufacture of insulated and refrigerated packaging, including pre-qualified insulated shipping and temperature management solutions. The company is headquartered in Ile-de-France with a production site at Arras.
Sofrigam offer solutions for the cold chain logistic problems experienced by the pharmaceutical industry. It offers a range of standard and made-to-measure thermal packaging products as well as customized services designed to achieve secure, cost effective and ecological cold chain logistics.
Sofrigam has become one of Europe’s leading cold chain specialists, sharing its expertise via seminars, publications and R&D collaborations. It also offers customized products and services designed to achieve cold logistics that are secure, cost-effective and comprehensively compliant.
Sofrigam partners with Ater Métrologie, a French-based ISTA and ISO 9001 certified laboratory that specializes in testing, validating and pre-qualifying temperature-controlled packaging and cooling systems. The laboratory carries out some 2,000 tests each year.
Laetitia Perche, Marketing Director, Sofrigam SA
Tel: +33 (0) 1 46 69 85 43
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