UPS has enhanced its dry ice production capabilities and launched new mobile freezer storage units as it seeks to assist in efforts to distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

    The company’s Healthcare unit can now produce up to 1,200 lbs of dry ice per hour at its US facilities. This will support the storage and transportation of cold chain products, such as frozen vaccines, in accordance with manufacturer storage requirements.

    UPS said the increased production would also allow it to make dry ice available for US and Canadian hospitals, clinics and other points of care requiring dry ice to store vaccines locally. Dry ice will be sourced at its UPS Worldport automated package handling facility at Louisville International Airport, and can be made available next day.

    “Enhancing our dry ice production capabilities increases our supply chain agility and reliability immensely when it comes to handling complex vaccines for our customers,” said UPS Healthcare President Wes Wheeler. “Healthcare facilities in Louisville, Dallas and Ontario will ensure we have the capability to produce dry ice to sufficiently pack and replenish shipments as needed to keep products viable and effective.”

    In collaboration with Stirling Ultracold, UPS has also launched new portable ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. They will be distributed and used in smaller point of care facilities requiring a more permanent solution for longer term freezer storage. UPS said it would work with Stirling to offer the Stirling ULT25 and Undercounter Model SU105 to thermally protect critical vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures ranging anywhere from -20°C to -80°C.

    Stirling CEO Dusty Tenney commented: “Stirling Ultracold freezers integrate well with UPS Healthcare logistics to provide complete cold-chain of custody for COVID-19 vaccines from the drug manufacturers to medical facilities.

    “This programme will help ensure vaccines remain effective next year, and for years to come, as future vaccines and biologics are developed to keep the world healthy and safe.”