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Thermo King ready for -70 degrees Celsius

Reefer machinery supplier offers “ultra-low” temperature machinery and telematics to support vaccine logistics.

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Thermo King ready for -70 degrees Celsius

Thermo King, a part of Trane Technologies, is offering reefer containers that can maintain a temperatures of -70 degrees C to support logistics of COVID-19 vaccines.


As was reported last week, some of the vaccines being developed by pharmaceutical industry must be transported and maintained at -70 degrees C, and possibly lower. Thermo King said it is ready to meet this requirement over “the entire cold chain - from air transport to marine, rail, trailer, last-mile delivery and at storage points along the way”.


Thermo King already offered its “SuperFreezer” system, which was designed to maintain temperatures of -60 degrees C and lower for frozen cargoes like tuna. The machinery uses two refrigeration circuits, one containing R134a and the other using R23, to maintain these very low set points.


Companies like CRS in Ireland already use the SuperFreezer to offer “pharmaceutical grade mobile cold storage units” for products including vaccines, which could prove valuable in logistics for a COVID-19 vaccine.


“Considering the urgent, global need for a COVID-19 vaccine, the world can’t afford breaks in the cold chain,” said Dave Regnery, president and chief operating officer of Trane Technologies. “Our new Cold Storage Solutions can maintain temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius for an extended period of time, can be leveraged to help reduce degradation of a vaccination, and most importantly, could prevent vaccine ‘deserts’ or lack of accessibility.”


As well as reefer containers, Thermo King has products for refrigerated trailers and “portable cubes” that can be scaled and repositioned as required, as well as systems for maximising the range of dry ice, which is commonly used in vaccine logistics. End-to-end security and traceability is managed through telematics.


“We have been engaging pharmaceutical and transport companies, policymakers, regulators and other industry partners to discuss ways to strengthen the cold chain,” said Regnery. “We know that we can help mitigate risk – we have a long history in cold chain expertise, and are actively working to innovate and address the complexities and potential challenges of the mass distribution of a temperature-sensitive vaccine.”

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