Cold chain calls to suffering airlines

Airlines are showing a kinder face to drugmakers than they have been to consumers recently. Cold chain initiatives are underway at major air carriers, thanks to the growing global market for pharmaceuticals.

In recent months, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways World Cargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines and United Airlines have started courting drugmakers and shippers with cold chain initiatives, reports the Journal of Commerce. The cold chain pharmaceutical sector is the fastest-growing market segment of air cargo and the highest margin area other than the transport of live animals, the report says.

Continental Airlines is among the few air carriers with longstanding drug-handing capabilities that are watching the influx of competitors. Continental offers the ClimateSecure temperature-controlled service, and is aligned with container maker Envirotainer for passive unit load devices, and with CSafe AcuTemp for active unit load devices.

The compressor-driven AcuTemp RKN container is approved by both the European Aviation Safety Agency and the FAA. It also incorporates the new International Air Transport Association label for time- and temperature-sensitive healthcare products, which is set to become a requirement in July.

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