Cool, Calm and Collected

Press Release 15 Jun 2011


Temperature controlled transports for insulin supplies

Duisburg, 15.06.2011: Insulin preparations are among the most frequently-used medicines. In 2010, around 7 % of the world population were dependent in the long term on this substance with its capacity to lower blood sugar levels. Since it is particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, insulin transport has been subject to legal regulation since 2006. The stipulated transport temperature is between 2 and 8 °C. In order to satisfy this requirement, German pharmaceutical enterprises, when exporting to over 90 countries worldwide, rely on temperature controlled transports. Contargo, the container transport service provider from Duisburg, can look back on many years' experience in this field.

Insulin transports take place in refrigerated containers - "reefers" for short - which have highly effective thermal insulation and are equipped with heating/ cooling systems. These 18 kW units can generate and maintain controlled temperatures in a range between -24 °C and +30 °C in a 40-foot container. Regulating mechanisms ensure that the temperature inside the container remains constant within a fluctuation margin of c. 2 °Kelvin, regardless of the outside temperature. The reefer is connected up to the power supply of its transport means.

Ralf Gerlach, responsible for reefer transports, explains: "In view of their cargo value of several million Euros, insulin transports represent the supreme challenge for us. They make very high demands on transport service providers. However, we can keep cool about this, thanks to our good infrastructure. For instance, we operate reefer service stations along the Rhine. If any problem should arise with a cooling unit, we have specially trained personnel available at very short notice. In an emergency we activate an instant action plan, performing emergency repairs on the defective reefer, wherever it may be at that point, or if necessary exchanging it for another, pre-cooled reefer."

From Contargo, insulin manufacturers only get reefers that have been optimally prepared. The services Contargo provides include Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI), Unit Function Settings (HMC, Vent, etc.), warranty repairs and modifications, data retrieval and steam cleaning. It speaks for the precision of the reefer systems used, and the Contargo service plan, that so far every transport has been carried out without a single complaint. There is no fear of manipulation in temperature controlled transports, as an integrated data logger records the internal temperature of the container in real time. Any temperature fluctuations can be checked and analysed by the carrier.

Co-Managing Director Heinrich Kerstgens adds: "Of course, the carbon footprint plays an increasingly significant role in the transport of medicines, too. We use barges because their carbon footprint is smaller compared to rail or truck. But if delivery dates make it necessary we can use truck or rail at any time. Barge transports do not involve worries about theft and vandalism - a definite plus point over trucking, where there has been an enormous increase recently in the number of thefts and break-ins taking place, particularly at motorway services."


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Contact partner at Contargo: Heinrich Kerstgens, Tel.: +49 621 59007 184, hkerstgens@contargo.net
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