American Airlines Cargo Division (AA Cargo) has redesigned its Business ExtrAA program to allow nearly all cargo customers to earn travel awards for booking cargo shipments. For every shipment on American Airlines, regardless of the size or booking method, eligible AA Cargo customers earn points that can be redeemed for travel-related awards such as airline travel certificates, upgrades, and Admirals Club memberships or passes. Previously, the program only rewarded customers for booking their shipments online.
The Department of Transportation has proposed new regulations for air shipments of lithium batteries that would designate small lithium batteries and cells as Class 9 materials to be handled as potentially hazardous. Only “extremely small lithium batteries and cells” shipped in limited quantities and packed with or contained in equipment would be excepted.
EnviroCooler LLC (Huntington Beach, CA) has launched a new ULD for large pallet-sized loads designed to maximize LD3 cargo space on an aircraft. The CryoSphere & BioSphere P-O29 is stored on a cookie sheet as opposed to inside an airline LD3 metal container. In foregoing the container storage, the unit provides 20% more product load area.
Softbox Systems (Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom) is helping pharmaceutical companies ship temperature-sensitive products via air transport using recyclable materials. The company recently worked with Laminations (Appleton, WI) to launch a system for the United States.
Farrar Scientific (Marietta, OH) has developed a ULD shipper with a proprietary system that supports longer hold time durations in more extreme ambient conditions. The PharmaPort 360 Model 7628 provides both heating and cooling without using active electrical systems in transit for temperature maintenance.
AcuTemp Thermal Systems (Dayton, OH) and CSafe LLC are offering relief agencies their temperature-controlled containers for use in shipping and storing blood, vaccines, and other critical temperature sensitive medical supplies for the Haitian relief effort.
As manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and biologics focus on ensuring quality in temperature sensitive shipments, they are investigating prospects for containing the costs of distribution and packaging. In offering shipper solutions that promise predictable shipper performance, container vendors are also expanding programs in areas such as reverse logistics and leasing.
Optimal placement of temperature monitors within product shipping containers that will most accurately document temperature variation during transit is important to maintaining temperature control for heat-labile pharmaceuticals and biologicals. The operating principles discussed apply to all sizes of insulated, noninsulated, active, and passive shipping containers used to protect product for the duration of transit.
Faced with the need to transport large quantities of a deep frozen drug substance, Amgen Cold Chain Engineering (Thousand Oaks, CA) developed a custom insulated shipping system working with Entropy Solutions (Minneapolis).
Cost control is a major impetus behind the trend among larger pharma firms to employ direct shipment as a distribution channel strategy, says John Menna, marketing director of healthcare logistics, UPS.
UPS’s 2009 Pain in the Healthcare Supply Chain survey found that more than 50% of firms with revenue of more than $1 billion are planning direct shipment to customers as a strategy, compared with 39% percent in the previous year’s study.