July 18, 2023

Running on Ice: Refrigerator-less vaccines

Your latest info on all things cold chain

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All thawed out

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Due to the rising growth of the specialty pharmaceutical market, World Courier, a global medicine logistics expert, has set up a new transport station in suburban Chicago. Just 20 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the new facility in Mount Prospect, Illinois, will have walk-in refrigerators and freezers as well as liquid nitrogen tanks and charging stations for cryogenic shipments. 

As more biopharma companies have complex products coming to the market, those that specialize in moving them have to adapt and get a little creative as well. 

Taking things further East, Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based John F. Martin & Sons has officially revealed its plans for the plot of land purchased last year in Stevens, Pennsylvania. The company is going to build a 176,172-square-foot cold storage and distribution facility on the 140-acre site. The facility will focus primarily on receiving and shipping packaged meat. Something unique John F. Martin & Sons is doing with this property is not using all of the land for the new warehouse. The company is planning on continuing to farm the land around the warehouse. 

Temperature checks

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Vaccine transport is a global problem. According to a Prospect article, “Approximately 50% of viable vaccines are lost [yearly] because of the need for expensive refrigeration during transport and storage, resulting in a staggering 1.5 million infant deaths globally.” Not only that, “up to 5 million people die every year from vaccine-preventable disease, in large part because cold chain infrastructure fails and results in vaccines being spoiled and becoming ineffective when administered.”

Enter EnsiliTech. This startup has developed a way to transport lifesaving vaccines with little refrigeration. EnsiliTech has the ability to grow a customized shell that protects fragile vaccines so that they remain stable when taken out of refrigeration. According to its website, EnsiliTech uses “tiny layers of an inorganic material [that] are applied to the vaccine or other biological material to render it stable outside the fridge or freezer. The technology uses silica to create individual, protective ‘cages’ around the active ingredients. These cages keep the biological material within it intact, meaning its properties won’t change regardless of variations in outside temperature or humidity.”

Food and drugs

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Everyone’s favorite 30 minutes or less pizza delivery chain, Domino’s has done something it swore it would never do: partner with a third-party delivery service. The pizza giant has officially signed with Uber Technologies to have sales on Uber Eats and Postmates. The one different thing about it is that Domino’s employees will be the ones delivering the pizzas. This deal is expected to generate $1 billion for the pizza giant. 

According to a Foodmarket article, “Domino’s said it chose Uber given the app’s willingness to share information about customers who ordered on its platforms, its global scale and the demographics of its users. Uber customers are generally younger and more affluent than those who order directly from Domino’s,” Russell Weiner, Domino’s chief executive, said.

Cold chain lanes


This week’s SONAR market is Des Moines, Iowa, home of pork chops and corn. Reefer outbound tender rejections are on the rise, increasing 375 basis points week over week. Outbound tender rejections are now at 11.33%, meaning spot rates will be higher now than at the end of June. Reefer outbound tender volumes are also on the rise, albeit at a slower pace. Capacity in Des Moines is tightening. Being aware of outbound tender lead times will be key to mitigating spot rate costs. 

Is SONAR for you? Check it out with a demo!

Shelf life

First cold-chain special train from Russia arrives in Chengdu – YouTube

Fifth Third Bancorp Increases Stake in Americold Realty Trust, 

Plenty of milk product in storage and butter stocks keep building

Rickenbacker Airport adds refrigeration for Ohio pharma industry

Wanna chat in the cooler? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at [email protected]

See you on the internet.


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