Envirotainer is doing everything it can to meet the emerging challenges and prospects in cold chain transportation in a period of rapid change where new technologies are developed and existing ones are combined in new and exciting ways. As the market leader in secure cold chain solutions for air transportation of pharmaceuticals, over 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines has already been transported in its fleet of advanced temperature-controlled air cargo containers. But the company seems to be embarking on more new process innovations, it recently launched the Releye® RLP—a true innovation with a revolutionary new footprint and unsurpassed autonomy, enough to assure clients that their cargo is protected from temperature deviations, no matter what happens during shipping. Additionally, a thorough life-cycle analysis of the company’s shipment solutions compared to other solutions offered in the market clearly shows Envirotainer’s solutions to be the most CO2 efficient in the industry. This is especially noteworthy not only considering the company’s own environmental impact but also how it is helping customers reduce their CO2 footprint. In a recent interaction, Niklas Adamsson, Chief Operating Officer elaborates to Ritika Arora Bhola, on how they ensure the highest standards of process compliance and build strong system structures that ensure a seamless cool chain, having crafted some of the world’s best temperature-controlled containers.
Where do Envirotainer’s worldwide business operations stand at the moment? Take us through your latest products and offerings to the temp-controlled cargo sector?
Envirotainer is the global market leader in secure cold chain solutions for air transport of pharmaceuticals. We develop, manufacture and offer leasing of 5 different innovative ULD container solutions. As the market leader in secure cold chain solutions for air transportation of pharmaceuticals, we have already facilitated transportation of more than 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. But we are not stopping there; we have increased production of our RKN e1 and RAP e2 containers. We also recently launched the Releye® RLP temperature-controlled container that we believe will revolutionise the market. It is stronger, safer, better for the environment and more connected than all other competing solutions combined—with fully integrated live monitoring, and a unique airflow technology for maximum temperature stability in the cargo bay.
What is Envirotainer’s USP? What makes Envirotainer different from its counterparts?
It is the combination of 35 years of operational experience, the best people, the largest network, the largest fleet of containers in the world, as well as our financial stability. This means our customers can rely on us when it comes to both speed of service and scale of business to meet their requirements.
How efficiently are you handling the pressure during these times of emergency? Conversely, what do you see as the biggest untapped opportunities?
The pandemic and the subsequent grounding of most airplanes due to the lack of passengers meant a brutal reduction in available air freight cargo capacity. We still grew our business in 2020, managed to meet every single customer order without delay, and improved our Customer Service Net Promoter Score to 76.
We are proud to say that despite the challenges of the past year, we managed to offer 100% availability in 2020. We have managed to keep our network of over 50 service stations around the world open during the pandemic, and also managed to open several new stations around the world. Going forward, we will continue to do our part in providing the services needed to meet what looks like unprecedented shipment volumes for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Could you update us about Envirotainer’s worldwide service network and its container fleet for storing and handling temperature-sensitive cargo?
Envirotainer has the largest station network in the industry, and we also operate the industry’s largest fleet of active temperature-controlled ULDs. Over the past years, we have reinvested some 20 per cent of our revenue annually into our service and station network, the maintenance of our container fleet, as well as into developing new product and service offerings. Currently, we are seeing an increased demand both for regular temperature-sensitive shipments as well as for the COVID-19 vaccine shipments.
How is Envirotainer digitalising its service processes and solutions offering? How do you continue to ensure clients that every shipment is are absolutely time- and life-critical through enhanced visibility?
We provide our customers with the latest in digital services via our Envirotainer Customer portal. There, customers have a single point access to order information and a multitude of services. For instance, customer can place or change an order from any device and at any time, access their financial information and invoices, and access all their data relating to their shipments to follow them in real-time or to access post-shipment reports, create and view support cases, manage their QEP Accredited stations, and much more. We also provide an API so that customers can integrate their data systems with ours for easier handling.
Transportation is ever evolving with changing dynamics and innovations. As such, how do you ensure safe and resilient transportation and cargo mobility while ensuring quality and efficacy of the process?
That is in the DNA of Envirotainer. We have been in this industry for over 35 years and have well established processes and solutions that meet the stringent requirements of both the aviation industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry. We also invest heavily in training and education, both internally and externally. We have over the last decade trained more than 30,000 cold chain stakeholders in how to handle temperature-sensitive shipments.
Are there any bottlenecks when it comes to delivering such huge quantities of refrigeration units?
The main challenge is that there is little (only four to five days) forecasting to when and in what quantities units need to be available across the globe. We have the benefit of having the largest temperature-controlled air freight fleet in the world and the largest service station network, and therefore, we were able to deliver all the orders in 2020. However, as demand is rising in 2021, the situation becomes more challenging for all parties involved and therefore the need to share information openly and frequently becomes all the more important.
Looking at the current changing environment, how do you tweak the business fundamentals of tenacity, commitment and vision, and marketing skills?
Our objective is to help our customers deliver life-saving medicines to the right people, in the right time and in the right condition. Access to space-efficient and secure shipment solutions is absolutely vital for this and we have just launched our latest and most innovative containers solution—the Releye® RLP. We are working with all our partners and customers to make the solution available so that they can benefit from the increase in available capacity, performance and functionality.
How do these products help your company achieve carbon neutrality and significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to passive solutions?
In 2020, as the first cold-chain company in the world, Envirotainer became carbon neutral in Scope 1-3, excluding use phase. Our containers are more CO2 emission efficient and provide the lowest total CO2e/m3 of pharmaceutical product shipped footprint of all comparable solutions. Some of the benefits of our solution compared to others in this aspect are specifically—space efficiency onboard airplanes, and reusability and volume efficiency as compared to passive solutions.
How do you see the Indian market as a potential service destination? Any plans for network station expansion across Indian airports?
India has over the past 10 years evolved to become a world leader in production of high quality, low-cost generic drugs. Today, the country ranks third in terms of production volume of pharmaceutical products. Therefore, India is an important and growing market for us and we currently have four service stations in India alone. Many prominent pharma companies has set up manufacturing bases in India and produce all kinds of medicines and vaccines and we are fortunate to be working with the vast majority of them.