Cold chain – One size doesn’t fit all

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cold chain

What is the difference between rental or purchase pharmaceutical packaging in the cold chain industry and what works better in the current climate? Paul Terry Sales and Marketing Director EMEA at Peli BioThermal explores exclusively the packaging side of pharmaceutical cold chain.

Air cargo is used for the transportation of goods for many different industry verticals. In the current post pandemic climate, cold chain is one of the primary concerns globally due to the mass vaccine rollout across the world. Given this, what is the best packaging approach to pharmaceuticals in the cold chain industry and should companies be looking to purchase or rent their packaging?

Cold chain packaging and logistics perform an integral part in the safe shipment of pharmaceutical payloads worldwide. To ensure efficacy of high value, life giving pharmaceutical products requires high performance cold chain thermal shipper solutions.

Whether purchased or rented, temperature-controlled packaging is a crucial component within the cold chain. The industry of cold chain logistics requires specific, specialist handling end to end as well as adherence to regional regulatory compliance criteria when shipping products from manufacturer to end destination.

The worldwide pharmaceutical cold chain logistics industry is vast and continues to be an area of significant growth, with projected global biopharma cold chain logistics spending in 2022 predicted to be US$19.1bn to support an estimated global biopharma cold chain product sale in 2024 forecast to be in the region of $440bn.

The pandemic has accelerated market growth with an increase of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals being transported across the globe and the continuing requirement for worldwide shipments of COVID-19 therapies, vaccines and boosters.

There are key considerations to be considered when selecting suitable shipping solutions for temperature sensitive payloads, including the type of thermal packaging needed, insulation required its quality/thickness/weight of Phase Change Materials (PCMs)and qualified durations.

However, there is also the question of whether to purchase packaging or rent while acknowledging that one size or solution doesn’t fit all shipping scenarios.

Current market trends 

Currently the sector is seeing a rising rental requirement which is not limited to bulk shipments but applies also to parcel payload packaging as companies continue to outsource their cold chain.  They want to own fewer, or zero, boxes or eliminate managing the associated requirements of maintaining owned thermal packaging products. Other ways of utilising temperature-controlled packaging include long term leasing or pay-per-use options. These options also remove the need to purchase, manage and maintain a large fleet of product. 


To see the full article please see our January/February issue here: January/February 2022 Single Issue form – International Trade Magazine (

Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Trade Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922

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