Etihad Cargo is to partner with B Medical Systems to develop and launch an airline-specific passive temperature-controlled solution for the transportation of life-saving drugs, vaccines and high-value pharmaceuticals.
The two companies entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect at the BIO International Convention, being held in San Diego, USA.
B Medical Systems is a Luxembourg-based manufacturer and global distributor of medical refrigeration devices.
The temperature-controlled container units will work utilising passive cooling technology. The units will retain temperatures from -80 to 25°C for up to five days without requiring an external power source, with load capabilities ranging from two to 1,500 litres.
Through the reduction in power needed to maintain the temperature for temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments, the companies said, the units will reduce carbon emissions. Further adding to the sustainability of the containers, their robust design and multi-use capabilities enable an operational life of over ten years. B Medical Systems’ current product portfolio includes products that use solar energy as well as green refrigerants.
“While other traditional active container providers are offering containers fit for multi-modal transportation, Etihad Cargo is the first airline globally to collaborate with a partner in the development and launch of units specifically tailored to air transportation,” said Etihad Aviation Group’s senior vice president – sales & cargo Martin Drew.
“Sustainability has been and continues to be a priority for Etihad Cargo. While the aviation sector only accounts for four per cent of global carbon emission today, if the sector continues to grow at its current pace, it could account for up to 25 per cent of emissions by 2050. This is why it is so important for the sector to invest in more sustainable solutions for its customers. Partnering with B Medical Systems is the latest step by Etihad Cargo to achieve its sustainability targets. By replacing legacy active cold chain air transportation containers with aviation-specific units that consume less energy, Etihad Cargo is future-proofing the transportation of pharmaceuticals, providing a better solution for Etihad Cargo’s customers, the aviation industry and the environment.”
Trials of the sustainable container units will commence shortly, and a commercial launch date will be announced once the trials are successfully completed.