dnata’s New Airside Cool Transporter: An Innovation to Support Vaccine Distribution

Ground operator dnata has augmented its ability to handle pharmaceuticals at Singapore Changi airport with the introduction of airside temperature-controlled cool-dollies. 

Singapore’s tropical, year-round climate means that sensitive pharmaceuticals and perishables shipments are especially vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. Without stringent temperature controls to maintain product effectiveness and freshness on the tarmac at Changi airport, cargoes – such as global anti-COVID vaccines – will quickly perish.

Temperature-sensitive shipments being moved between dnata’s cargo handling facility and the aircraft at the tropical nation will now be moved inside the new ramp transporters, which offer a temperature protection range of between 18°C and +25°C. Each cool-dolly also comes equipped with alarms to alert the possibility of temperature excursions or contaminations.

The UAE-headquartered company is the first cargo handler to introduce cool-dollies at Singapore’s Changi airport, where it operates a state-of-the-art 1,400-sq m pharma and perishables handling center capable of processing 75,000 ton of temperature-sensitive goods annually, a statement points out.

The dnata Singapore cool chain facility also boasts modular temperature-controlled storage zones and a web-based monitoring system which allows each section to be managed in real-time. Customers at Changi are also provided with an ‘audit trail’ record of all consignments as they are being processed through the facility.

In addition to introducing the cool-dollies, dnata has started offering a range of services to fast-track such time-sensitive imports, in a program which includes priority clearance through the airport’s cargo center and expedited onwards deliveries to customers’ warehouse facilities within the Changi Airfreight Centre/Airport Logistics Park Singapore (ALPS).

The handling company, which has attained the International Air Transport Association Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (IATA CEIV) in pharmaceuticals logistics certification at Changi, also intends to offer the delivery of temperature-sensitive products island-wide in ‘an unbroken cool chain’, whilst providing ‘live’ tracking and updates to customers in collaboration with its logistics partners, notes the statement.

Dirk Goovaerts, dnata’s regional chief executive for the Asia Pacific region, observes: “It has become increasingly crucial for both airlines and freight forwarders to be supported by a reliable, certified handler that can protect their pharma shipments and ensure the products remain in perfect condition until they reach the end customer.

“Our latest investment in cool-dollies underlines our commitment to ensuring the highest quality of supply chain management when handling temperature-sensitive cargo.”


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