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This is what Hanne Reher, Sub-Regional Sector Head for Life Science & Healthcare in the Nordic and Baltic countries, has to say on the matter. She has worked with Combitherm for 15 years and was involved when the current solution for temperature-safe transport was developed.
“With us, a supplier should preferably develop into a partner. Combitherm did this in 2005, when stricter GDP requirements (Good Distribution Practice) began to make a serious impact in the transport sector. Finding a simple and efficient solution to temperature fluctuations during transport by air freight for our customers’ pharmaceutical products without necessarily having to use expensive active refrigeration units was required. Together we developed a cover, and on the whole, it is still the same solution we use today, although of course adjustments have been made along the way,” she states.
DHL specialises in global transport solutions in all emerging markets, including the food and pharmaceutical industries, where the requirements for correct temperature are in focus throughout transport. The solution from Combitherm was and is “rather simple” according to Hanne Reher: A specially sewn cover that can cover an air-cargo pallet with eight Euro-pallets, while at the same time maintain the desired temperature.
“In connection with pharmaceutical transport, we operate under GDP, a strict set of rules, where we must at all times be able to document that we comply with the requirements for correct temperature during the entire transport process. Our solution is ‘DHL Thermonet’, which is 24-7 monitoring that continuously monitors the temperature of the goods through temperature loggers. Here, the covers from Combitherm are an optimal solution for several reasons. They meet our requirements for protection against huge temperature fluctuations on the tarmac, they are easy to handle and they are an economically good alternative to active refrigeration units. However, the prerequisite is that the product has a degree of tolerance in relation to minor temperature fluctuations, which may be the case during loading/unloading at an airport,” says Hanne Reher.
Another detail that has been considered in the collaboration between DHL and Combitherm was the surface.
“The surface must be easy to clean because the covers are sturdy and can be used several times, provided that the customer gives their approval. At the same time, there should be no glare from the surface, as this can bother pilots when air-cargo pallets are clad in the covers at the take-off and landing area of an airport. We also found a good solution for this together,” Hanne Reher explains and continues:
Combitherm has been a reliable partner, also because they have been able to keep up with our demand. The very first order in 2005 consisted of two covers, because they needed to be tested – now I have no figures at all as to how many covers we use daily. Undoubtedly, we use many, and over the years, if we ever have had an urgent need for more at short notice, Combitherm has also used their weekends to meet our wishes. The partnership and delivery security are incredibly important to us because it ensures that our customers get the right service within the quality agreements we have entered into,” she says.
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