Protecting perishables in airfreight containers
Oct 1, 2003 12:00 PM, [Compiled by Gary Macklin • email@example.com]
Moving perishables by air presents its own special list of challenges. The shipper has almost no control over the carrier and little say in the handling of the freight. Until fairly recently, positive temperature control of shipping containers was unknown. Compounding these problems is the fact that only the most expensive products such as pharmaceuticals, seafood, or out-of-season produce are regularly shipped by air.
To help shippers regain control of high value shipments and reduce distribution costs, Sensitech, an information provider for cold chain solutions, and Envirotainer, a producer and lessor of temperature controlled airfreight containers have formed an alliance to monitor air shipments. The alliance will deliver information-based systems to manage distribution cost and speed product release from airline custody while increasing control of and record keeping about goods in the cold chain.
Sensitech is an information systems firm based in Beverly, Massachusetts, with offices in Redmond, Washington, and Fresno, California. It provides a data collection network, web-enabled data management, and ASP solutions along with consulting and outsourcing services. In August 2000, Sensitech acquired Ryan Instruments, giving it the ability to collect and analyze the temperature and condition of goods in transit.
For more than 10 years, Envirotainer has produced a range of airfreight containers that provide positive environmental control using dry ice and thermostatic temperature control. The company is based in Lagga Marma on the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, and has 21 offices in 15 countries. The most common use of Envirotainer products is a trip lease with the container being picked up at origin and returned to Envirotainer control at the destination. The company makes containers available from call centers that operate 24 hours a day.
The alliance of Sensitech and Envirotainer will allow reliable shipment of high-value goods with the assurance that they will arrive in the proper condition and with the correct documentation, says Eric Schultz, chairman and CEO of Sensitech. Positive temperature control along with verifiable temperature records will result in smaller inventory levels and reduced transportation costs, because fewer shipments will be rejected, he says.
Envirotainer provides equipment for temperature control of airfreight shipments that performs consistently, and Sensitech provides the systems for verifying that performance, says Magnus Welander, Envirotainer CEO.
Although the alliance originated to serve the pharmaceutical industry, it can be applied to meat, seafood, produce, specialty chemicals, and semiconductor shipments. Envirotainer containers range from small-volume boxes through standard size airfreight containers up to 20 ft containers used for transportation of sensitive semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Containers for shipment of pharmaceuticals by air can maintain active temperature control for as long as 84 hours in a wide range of ambient conditions.
Sensitech instruments include TempTale and TagAlert monitors. Information from these instruments can be followed using the web-enabled Cold Chain Manager system and Cold Chain Analytic services. For more information about Sensitech, visit sensitech.com. Information about Envirotainer, including container volumes and specifications, is available at envirotainer.com.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.