Continental Airlines Cargo has made a “selection” of the AcuTemp RKN container for use on its cargo jets, says CSafe LLC (Dayton, OH) in a recent announcement. CSafe is the marketing j.v. between AcuTemp Thermal Systems (Dayton, OH) and AmSafe, Inc. (Phoenix), the two companies that developed the RKN unit. “Our selection by Continental reinforces CSafe’s position as a premier player in the active temperature marketplace and expands customers’ options for temperature critical transportation,” said Steve Boyd, CSafe director of business development.
But the real story here might be Continental’s aggressive positioning to capture more of the cold chain market. Last fall, Continental became the first cargo air carrier to be qualified internationally under a “Qualified Envirotainer Provider Training” (QEP) program run by Envirotainer (Lagga Marma, Sweden), which happens to be the only direct competitor to CSafe. “Continental is determined to offer our customers the most advanced cold-chain technology available,” said Mark Mohr, Continental’s manager, product development and specialty sales. “The AcuTemp RKN represents the latest addition to our ever-growing arsenal of temperature-sensitive shipping capabilities.”
Envirotainer’s and CSafe’s containers are unit-load devices that contain a pallet-sized (more or less) shipment of pharmaceuticals. Both can be “active,” meaning that they have onboard refrigerators (or, if necessary, heaters) that can be powered from batteries or plugged in. (Similar “passive” devices use dry ice or refrigerated phase-change material to maintain temperature). CSafe’s unit is FAA-rated; Envirotainer’s, although on the market longer, await FAA approval.