Using Dry Ice When Shipping Air Freight
Healthcare product manufacturers, transportation providers and distributors have a moral, and in most cases, a regulatory responsibility to help insure the product arrives to the end-user intact. Protection of product efficacy demands use of the latest reliable technologies available. People’s lives truly depend on it.
In the history of transporting temperature-sensitive commodities by air, dry ice had at one time offered state of the art cooling capabilities when used in conjunction with specialized transport containers or ULDs (Unit Load Devices). Dry ice-based ULDs utilized dry ice, basic insulation, along with replaceable batteries, fans and thermostats to try to maintain the selected temperature.
There are several drawbacks to the use of dry ice-based ULDs. Most importantly, their temperature management capabilities are directly tied to ambient conditions and the ULD set point required of the cargo. Ambient conditions for proper operation of a dry ice-based ULD need to be a minimum of 5° C above the set point. So, for a 2° to 8° C shipment with a ULD set point of 5° C, the ambient conditions need to be at a minimum of +10° C for proper operation. In addition, the containers had a maximum operating range of about +30° C above the set point.