Transporting temperature-sensitive cargo from aircraft to warehouse can be tricky business, especially in warm climates. The diesel-powered dollies used by most airports and ground handlers have cooling units that are expensive to operate and often don’t meet performance requirements.
To address this ground-transportation problem, Etihad Cargo and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have come up with a new hybrid cool dolly that can be used for pharmaceuticals, livestock and perishable goods as they are transferred across the tarmac. The dolly uses thermo-electronic module technologies, modified compressor units and a custom-made power bank that minimizes power consumption. The units also can be attached to solar panels for sustainable recharging, which ensures that the temperature can be regulated, even during power outages.
The product was revealed at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi earlier this week. David Kerr, Etihad Cargo’s vice president, said working with the Masdar Institute helped enormously to develop the dolly, which is needed in the harsh weather often experienced in the UAE.
The carrier’s innovation department is collaborating with the Masdar Institute on other projects, including advanced shock protection for cargo boxes and testing of advanced thermal reduction coatings for Etihad’s Sky Stables equine transportation service.