IAG Cargo, the freight operations branch of the joint Anglo-Spanish carrier enterprise, has signed a global container rental deal with thermal packaging provider va-Q-tec.
Subsequently, IAG Cargo will be able to use va-Q-tec’s va-Q-tainers to transport freight that is sensitive to temperature.
va-Q-tainers offer control over six different temperature ranges, from -70°C to +25°C, in five different sized of container. They will be will used by IAG Cargo as an advanced passive shipping option that will require no external energy input.
The units make use of phase change materials (thermal energy storage components that absorb and store thermal energy during a freezing or heating process without considerably changing their temperature) to make sure the temperature stays consistent during shipment.
Alan Dorling, global head, pharmaceuticals and life sciences at IAG Cargo, commented: “This agreement offers our customers wanting to ship temperature sensitive goods an excellent and cost efficient solution.”
“With consistent year on year growth in Constant Climate shipments, we are continually investing in innovative customer solutions that match our own high standards; as such we are fully confident that this agreement will be welcomed by customers looking to ship pharmaceuticals across the globe,” he added.
Dominic Hyde, va-Q-tec’s managing director, said: “The broad network offered by IAG Cargo and the integrated va-Q-tainer serviced rental offer will provide pharma shippers with a reliable door-to-door temperature-controlled solution that meets challenging requirements for global health care cold chains.”
Only a week ago, IAG Cargo revealed plans to construct a new £55 million facility for premium freight and pharma at its site in London Heathrow in response to growth in its services for high-value cargo.
The new terminal will be called New Premia and will double the size of the existing 10 year old Premia building and will offer a larger dedicated constant climate centre for pharmaceuticals.
Va-Q-tec has also won new customers elsewhere. In July, it was confirmed that Italian carrier Alitalia had signed an agreement with the company to rent its passive containers.