dnata is one of the biggest air service providers in the world that caters to cargo, travel, ground handling, and flight catering. dnata Singapore has launched pharma cold chain facilities. The company recently introduced specialized containers for pharma and temperature-sensitive goods called Cool Dollies, to allow for a fully integrated temperature-controlled cold chain in Singapore’s Changi Airport.

The cool dolly is a temperature-controlled container used at airside to ensure an unbroken cold chain when transporting cargo from aircraft to cold storage facilities. Given the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, cold chain facilities are currently being prepared in different parts of the globe for the mass transportation of vaccines.

dnata pharma and perishable handling
dnata cold dollies at Singapore Changi Airport

“CAG congratulates dnata for the implementation of cool dolly services in Changi Airport. Pharmaceuticals and perishables shipments are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuation and require stringent temperature control to maintain product effectiveness and freshness. The cool dolly services further enhance Singapore as a reliable and quality air hub for pharma and perishables products. Through close collaboration with our air cargo community, Changi Airport is committed to continuously develop our cold chain handling capabilities, providing shippers with the assurance of safe, reliable, and efficient air transportation for their special cargo. Changi currently features the largest IATA CEIV Pharma certified air cargo community in the Asia Pacific region. Together with our community, we are preparing for the effective global air transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.” Said Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director, Air Hub Development, Changi Airport Group (CAG).

It is critical that pharma cargo is transported by dependable, certified shipping partners and transport providers to maintain the integrity of the products until they reach the point of demand. dnata’s investment in cool dollies is in line with its goal of providing top-scale supply chain management when it comes to handling cargo with specific temperature needs.

Various stake holder’s met dnata’s introduction of the innovation with wide acclaim.

 “Air cargo continues to play an important role in enabling the flow of essential goods such as pharmaceutical supplies, even as passenger traffic has been impacted significantly by COVID-19. CAAS congratulates dnata on the launch of the cool dollies at Changi Airport today and commends them for continuing to invest in enhancing their capabilities during these challenging times. This is a good example of the spirit of innovation and collaboration that drives our aviation community to create more value for Changi’s customers.” said Ho Yuen Sang, Director, Aviation Industry, Civil Aviation Authority Singapore (CAAS).

dnata Singapore has various facilities and high-tech features that allows for the conducive transport of time and temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals.

  1. Cool dollies
  2. Pharma and perishable handling center
  3. Advanced cold chain facility
  4. Fast-track time-sensitive imports solutions

Cool dollies

Cool dollies are often used in air cargo transport because they possess the capability of keeping temperature-sensitive products if the warehouse is full.

Advanced cool dollies guarantee the secure and efficient pharma cargo operation at the Changi airport. The cool dollies installed by dnata paves the way for the company to facilitate the transfer of temperature-sensitive goods with the topmost international standards. It allows for the temperature-controlled storage between the range of -18°C up to +25°C (-0.4°F to 77°F). The dollies have a secure structure with alarms on opening and closing. It also sends alerts if the temperature shifts from the allowable ranges. They are lined with solar panels making them autonomous and environment friendly. Additionally, the containers are easy to clean, which is essential when transporting highly sensitive pharma cargo.

dnata facilities singapore changi airport
dnata handles cold chain perishables and pharmaceuticals at Changi Airport, Singapore

Pharma and perishable handling center

The facility that handles pharmaceutical and perishable goods at the Changi Airport is 1,400 m² wide. It contains state-of-the-art equipment and can handle 75,000 tons of temperature-sensitive goods yearly.  The facility allows dnata’s cargo team to present world-class and uncompromised temperature-controlled management and storage solutions to its Singapore customers in the aviation industry. 

Cold chain facility

The cold chain facility of dnata in Singapore was crafted to allow flexibility when dealing with special product handling requirements in mind, integrating the latest cold storage innovations and designs available in the market. The areas in the facility which are temperature-controlled are designed to be modular, allowing the cold chain staff to handle the erratic demands with the specific climate control ability. In order to effectively oversee and allow real-time management of all the areas in the facility, a web-based monitoring system had been installed. The cold chain facility allows dnata the cohesive provision of an audit trail of all consignments in the Changi Airport to its stakeholders while they are currently being processed at the facility.

Fast-track time-sensitive imports

Numerous solutions to fast-track time-sensitive imports have also been made available by dnata to deliver more high-quality services to its customers. The company offers priority clearance and accelerated delivery times to the warehouse facilities of its customers at the Changi Airfreight Centre/ Airport Logistics Park Singapore (ALPS). dnata envisions to expand further by launching the delivery of temperature-controlled goods throughout the whole of Singapore in a seamless cold chain flow, complete with real-time tracking and updates to its customers.

dnata certifications and credentials

dnata has received various certifications from different institutions to segment its standing as a leading global provider in the air service industry. It has been awarded a certificate by IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) for its pharma handling operations at the Singapore Changi Airport. The CEIV Pharma program awards certificates to companies through stringent assessments based on world-class standards to ensure the processes are aligned with the current international regulations. The program was initiated to ensure global recognition and consistency in pharma product handling. It has been certified to handle cargo through the ISO 9001:2015 certification. A Halal certification by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis) was given to dnata for a special Halal storage quarters in its cold chain facility.

dnata is also part of the esteemed Pharma.Aero, an organization dedicated to a cross-industry collaboration of healthcare shippers, air transport operators, cargo industry stakeholders, and CEIV certified cargo communities.

Recently, dnata Singapore recently became a part of the Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) to improve its collaboration with industry stakeholders.

Benefits of cool dollies

Cool dollies manage hostile and fluctuating temperatures. It also allows for the seamless facilitation of Temperature-Sensitive Pharmaceuticals and other Perishables. Hot runways during warm seasons have the tendency to interfere with the cold chain, compromise the efficacy of pharma products, and decrease the shelf life of perishable goods. The cool dollies allow for their transport in a smooth and temperature-controlled environment throughout the process as it limits temperature excursions.  Ultimately, cool dollies lessen the damage of fragile time and sensitive goods during transport.

Most cool dollies possess advanced track and trace sensors and equipment, which allows for the delivery of real-time information. This visibility allows for cold chain and health care professions to make proactive decisions in case of a possible malfunction during the transport process.

Cool dollies in other airports

This year, several airports have also invested in upgrading their cool dollies for an improved pharmaceutical transport service. Investing in high-grade cool dollies is not only more cost-effective in the long run, but also, it can allow for the better preservation of pharma goods and vaccines. Better preservation of pharma goods allows for the maintenance of their potency and efficacy, ultimately saving millions of lives in the globe when combined with precise and timely delivery.

The GMR Hyderabad airport, located at Shamshabad, India, integrated a unique Multi ULD (Unit Load Device) Cool Dolly, to heighten the airport’s cargo capabilities and keep a seamless cold chain for the transportation of Time and Temperature Sensitive goods like perishables and pharmaceuticals. With the induction of the dollies, the Hyderabad International Airport is now capable of more efficiently handling highly crucial temperature-sensitive goods of their customers. The Cool Dolly is made up of an aluminum insulated container and a steel trainer. It transports commodities as a mobile transport unit from the Cargo Terminal to the aircraft.  It has a capacity of carrying 7 tons of cargo in one trip, with a built-in power backup in the case of an electric malfunction. It can smoothly transfer perishable items with temperatures ranging from 2°C to 8°C and 15°C to 25°C (35.6°F to 46.4°F and 59°F to 77), making for an unbroken cold chain. It also possesses unique features that allow for a decrease in operational challenges and lessen the overall handling time.

Air service provider, Fraport, has also added two cool dollies. The recently added cold capacity trailers would allow the cross-apron transportation of up to 20 temperature regulated transporters. Its refrigerating capacity allows for the transportation of temperature-sensitive products that require a temperature between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F). Each trailer has two cabins, which are accessible from both ends. Each cabin is also designed with easy to manipulate cooling systems. They also possess tracking and temperature monitoring systems.






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