Lufthansa Cargo and Envirotainer last week took the wraps off of commercial-scale containers for cold chain shipping by air. The LD9 offerings carry as much as four pallets of temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals.
Both the Lufthansa Opticooler and Envirotainer RAP e2 are powered-refrigeration containers for use in multiple-leg journeys. Lufthansa's Opticooler LD9 incorporates multiple sensors within and outside the container for use in maintaining and recording temperature. Its 6.57 cubic-meter internal capacity compares with the RAP e2's 6.38. Onboard batteries power compressors and heating systems for freeze prevention in both. Envirotainer rates the RAP e2 at 0 to 25°C for 100 hours before recharging; Lufthansa cites 2 to 30°C service.
A chief difference between the two, reports Pharmaceutical Commerce magazine, is that Opticooler is available only through Lufthansa's cargo service, while Envirotainer leases the RAP e2 to shippers and carriers for one-time or time-defined use.
Separately, the Cold Chain Biopharma Logistics Sourcebook anticipates an increase in regulations surrounding monitoring and temperature controls in cold chain handling. The increased regulation will accompany what the Sourcebook projects will be a rise to seven of the top 10 pharmaceutical products requiring cold chain handling by 2014.