Hi-tech containers may be just the thing for expensive pharmaceuticals, but for perishables such as fish, flowers or vegetables their cost cannot always be justified. However, for these shipments simple yet highly flexible solutions are available using new advances in insulation materials. An example are AmSafe Bridport’s Thermal Pallet Covers, which are increasingly being used to provideflexible insulation for standard ULDs.
Ian Kentfield, director Asia for Am- Safe Bridport, says that they are particularly popular for protecting perishables cargo on the tarmac while in transit between flights. For example, Dnata uses them for shipments that spend only three to four hours on the ground in Dubai, which is too little time to justify taking them to temperature controlledwarehousing.
“We are talking about temperatures on the ramp of 45-50 degrees, but with our covers you can achieve powerful insulation without great expense or technology,” says Kentfield. “We have done tests here in Sri Lanka in 30 degree heat, and in six hours, the temperature of the container rose just two degrees.”
The key to the covers are new types of insulation material that are a massive improvement on the conventional silver foil and bubble wrap covers used for containers. Sheets of the lightweight material are placed inside PVC covers, which are fully washable, and extra sheets can easily be added to give more insulation in extreme conditions. The covers can also be tailored to meet individual airline requirements at relatively little cost.
Apart from Dnata, Kentfield says AmSafe is working with KLM to design covers for its pallets, and he also sees great market potential in Asia. An example of a target market is Japan, where large amounts of perishables are moved domestically. One final advantage of the covers is that they can be printed with the company’s logo. “This is a great marketing tool for carriers who have specific cool chain products that they want to promote,” says Kentfield. – Peter Conway