New shipping solution for cryogenic products debuts from UPS

Daphne Allen

November 26, 2015

3 Min Read
New shipping solution for cryogenic products debuts from UPS

UPS has launched UPS Temperature True Cryo to provide an all-encompassing cryogenic packaging and shipping program for temperature-sensitive products.

The need for cryogenic technologies is increasing, reports Wanis Kabbaj, UPS’s marketing director for healthcare strategy. “The niche has been growing fast over the last few years, especially with high-value biologics such as stem cell treatments and other cell-based technologies,” he tells PMP News. “Such products are typically shipped at -150 degrees C, which is below the glass transition point, in order to stop cellular activity and maintain the integrity of the cells.”

UPS has been handling cryogenic materials according to customer specifications for years, and this new service further broadens the company’s temperature-controlled shipping offerings through its UPS Temperature True full suite of solutions. UPS Temperature True Cryo employs cryogenic and related technology from Cryoport, which, when combined with UPS’s proactive monitoring, risk mitigation solutions, and global network of control towers, provides enhanced visibility and intervention for cryogenic shipments at every stage of the supply chain journey.

The Cryoport container features liquid nitrogen stored in dry vapor form to keep products frozen at -150°C for 10 days while in transit or storage, providing a reliable, safe container for cryopreservation of products, UPS reports.

“The dry-vapor container emits only nonhazardous nitrogen vapor,” says Kabbaj. “Dry vapor is a newer form that we think is the most convenient, and it is an alternative to traditional liquid nitrogen containers that must be shipped under Hazmat guidelines.” Dry vapor is also rated “nonhazardous” by IATA under special provision A152, he adds.

“Because dry ice emits carbon dioxide, there are restraints and regulations in terms of shipments,” he adds. “The market is ready for an alternative that is simpler and more robust.”

While dry ice is considered a commercial standard in temperature control, its lowest temperature of -78 degrees C is not ideal for cell preparation, Kabbaj says. “And it is more demanding, given its three days’ of useful life,” he adds. 

At the UPS CryoPortal, UPS Temperature True Cryo customers can schedule their orders and plan shipping dates. Prelabeled dewar containers arrive ready for use from UPS, via Cryoport, and then after pick-up, UPS transports them using its traditional shipping services. They could be shipped using one- or two-day priority shipping, and on the return leg of the shipment can be shipped using a three-day service. “Coordination is made simple,” says Kabbaj.

UPS can also put its risk-management, intervention and insurance solution, UPS Proactive Response Secure, to work for time- and temperature-sensitive shipments. Service centers are located in the United States, Ireland, and the Philippines. 

“Professional agents monitor shipments 24 hours a day,” says Kabbaj. “They identify any shipments that could experience a delay, which can allow for intervention.”

Product security damage and spoilage are leading industry supply chain concerns as reported in the most recent UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain Survey, a global study that measures healthcare logistics decision-makers’ pain points, UPS reports. “We are committed to and will continue to diversify our portfolio to meet industry demands and offer our customers peace of mind by implementing the UPS quality standard they rely on as we integrate this solution into our portfolio,” says John Menna, UPS’s vice president of global strategy for healthcare logistics, in a statement.

The UPS Temperature True suite of solutions offers freight service levels that allow for different time-in-transit and control options for bulk temperature-sensitive shipments, UPS reports. These services are complemented by proactive monitoring and intervention technologies, extensive regulatory expertise, and a global network of 46 UPS healthcare-dedicated facilities, the company states.

“Needs are changing quickly; we are trying to be at the forefront to meet these needs,” says Kabbaj. “We are building the capabilities to provide dynamic and flexible solutions. UPS Temperature True Cryo completes one of the additional bricks to be a very complete partner for biotech and pharma customers.”

About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, materials, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 20 years. She has also presented on these topics in several webinars and conferences, most recently discussing design and engineering trends at IME West 2024 and leading an Industry ShopTalk discussion during the show on artificial intelligence.

Follow Daphne on X at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

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