Summer 2023

New lightweight active container makes maiden flight

New lightweight active container makes maiden flight

Swiss Airtainer’s self-sustaining unit for life-saving medicines ‘brings significant weight reduction of 250kg and thereby less fuel consumption’, using solar energy to feed its battery

Swiss Airtainer has launched a lightweight self-sustaining air freight container for life-saving medicines that “brings significant weight reduction of 250kg and thereby less fuel consumption”, in partnership with Swiss WorldCargo (SWC) and BPL Biotech & Pharma Logistics.

The partners said the development “seeks to revolutionise the cold chain logistics by providing a sustainable and innovative solution for the transportation of life-saving medicine”, with the first shipment with this container taking place from Basel via Zurich to San Francisco.

The container uses solar energy to feed the battery, allowing the thermal unit to maintain the required temperature range without the need for an external power source. The partners said this process “allows for a simplification of the cold chain and makes the container an ideal solution for transporting medicine to remote and underdeveloped areas, where access to cold chain infrastructure can be limited”.

Advanced temperature and humidity control systems and smart technology were incorporated which provide real-time tracking and monitoring of the cargo, ensuring that vaccines and other medical supplies arrive at their destination safely and securely. The container “is also made of sustainable and eco-friendly materials in line with minimizing our environmental impact”, the firms said.
Swiss Airtainer said its airfreight container weighs 250kg less than its competitors and has received the full certifications required, including from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), “confirming the safety and reliability of the product. Swiss Airtainer has also received strong support from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, further validating the company’s efforts to innovate and improve the airfreight industry.”

It said the project “has already received positive feedback from the industry and is set to make a significant impact on the transportation of life-saving medicine”.
Lorenzo Stoll, head of cargo at Swiss International Air Lines, said the innovation “has the potential to significantly impact the transportation of life-saving medicine”, describing the self-sustaining airfreight container as “a game-changer for the industry”. SWC stressed the importance of sustainability for SWISS and its cargo business, stressing that SWC was “highly committed to proactively progressing the mobility of goods and air travel as a whole into a more sustainable future. In creating alliances and supporting initiatives like these, we seek to boost technology development and actively contribute to scaling climate technologies, necessary to achieve our industry’s ambitious climate targets.”

Eduard Seligman, CEO of Swiss Airtainer, commented: “Our partnership with Swiss WorldCargo is a testament to our shared commitment to sustainability and innovation in the airfreight industry. Together, we are redefining the possibilities of cold chain logistics, and the successful completion of our first joint shipment marks a revolutionary milestone in our journey towards a greener and more efficient future.”