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Management Side
Sonoco ThermoSafe Celebrates First Pegasus ULD® Uplift on AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Releases Case Study
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (News release) -- Sonoco ThermoSafe, a unit of Sonoco and the leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging for life sciences and healthcare, and AirBridgeCargo Airlines, an all-cargo carrier within the Volga-Dnepr Group, have successfully conducted a test shipment with ThermoSafe's new Pegasus ULD®, the world's first passive bulk temperature controlled container for pharmaceutical use that is an approved unit load device.

The complexity and duration of the journey made this initial shipment an ideal case study. The entire shipping process involved multiple segments of ground and air transportation, starting in London and including stops in Amsterdam, Moscow and Frankfurt, extending beyond 130 hours. The Pegasus ULD contains a fully integrated, FAA-approved telemetry system, providing real-time, cloud-based data on both payload and ambient temperature and key environmental factors, precisely synchronized with GPS location, which confirmed that the internal temperature held between 2°C and 8°C throughout the entire journey.

This shipment demonstrated Pegasus' ability to address two of the key challenges for bulk passive pharmaceutical packaging technologies: providing long duration (>5 day) thermal performance and a design that eases operational handling at every step, from trucking to ground handling to flying.

As a passive ULD, the Pegasus container can be directly loaded into an aircraft cargo hold using standard LD3 loading procedures. This simplifies the cargo loading process, removing competing passive containers' need to apply a cookie-sheet, wrapping and netting. Because of the ease of use, AirBridgeCargo was able to easily forward the container from Amsterdam to Moscow, where the winter season ambient conditions did not cause freezing or alteration of the payload temperature of the Pegasus ULD®.

"As COVID-19 accelerates global pharmaceutical companies' evolution of their processes to ship large amounts of medicines from their production facilities into distribution centers, it has driven many to reconsider packaging as a strategic decision," said Ron Haub, Segment Director at Sonoco ThermoSafe. "The renewed focus on cold chain transportation has revealed the importance of data collection to verify cold chain integrity. Sonoco ThermoSafe has specialized in harnessing the visibility data generates for its customers. That's why the Pegasus ULD® pallet shipper is equipped with an integrated telemetry system that provides critical real-time data on multiple parameters."

These data sets provided AirBridgeCargo's team with a real-time status of the pallet shipper, providing valuable information for the safe and secure transport of medicinal products. "We are proud to be given this opportunity to demonstrate the quality of the pharma solutions we can provide together with our global partner, Sonoco ThermoSafe. The Pegasus ULD®'s telemetry capability and design exceeds the market's expectations, and we are sure it will be highly appreciated by the Life Science and Healthcare community, especially for large volumes of pharmaceutical shipments," highlighted Yulia Celetaria, Healthcare Director for Volga-Dnepr Group.

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