3 key trends in innovation of cool chain shipping

#3: Smart and sustainable designs

The use of smart and sustainably designed products in perishables shipments offers air cargo stakeholders a major opportunity to combat waste. Some of the main factors inhibiting proper handling of perishable food products can be boiled down to five points.

  • Lack of standardization across shipping practices;
  • Expensive costs;
  • Unsustainable shipping methods;
  • Low quality and inconsistent packaging; and
  • Lack of visibility across the supply chain.

To address these challenges, Aerotuf developed its AeroTHERM unit load device (ULD) container, which incorporates thermally insulated composite honeycomb panels to protect contents from extreme heat and cold. The material is highly durable, yet lightweight, while the container itself is frameless. The lack of solid beams and crevices prevents water from seeping inside and eliminates the need for pillar and beam construction, allowing for up to 75% less repairs per unit per year than other containers, according to Aerotuf VP sales and marketing Adam Barrington Spencer. The containers are also multipurpose, reuseable and recyclable.

“It’s essentially a Yeti cool box for your cargo,” said Spencer.

The company began testing 550 of the containers with its launch partner Air New Zealand about two years ago. In a study conducted by Aerotuf, it identified temperature variations in transit between its product and existing standard products used by the industry of almost 4°C one to four hours into the shipment, which increased exponentially as time continued during shipments.

According to Aerotuf, users of its products have saved over $500,000, with this number anticipated to increase. For companies, this translates into increased revenue, reduced handling time, reduced food and material waste, reduced carbon emissions and eliminated need for most ancillary equipment.

The company is coming out with a new version of its container next year that will be even better at controlling shipment temperatures, with further details on the product forthcoming.

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