The company believes partnerships and demand from the life science market for its high-tech offerings will help it build on the business it has nurtured in the region
Envirotainer, the Swedish company that provides active temperature-controlled containers for air cargo, has reported a growth in usage of its heating and cooling containers in the Gulf.
The company also reports its market share did not change significantly between 2012 and 2013, while there was a significant increase in the number of trips to and from the region between 2008 and 2013, the trips more than doubling during the period.
“Today we have some locally based carriers as partners that sell and move our containers, and the market is growing with new cooperation,” said Hanna Sigge, head of marketing and communications, Envirotainer AB.
“With strong ongoing partnerships, we are confident that the Gulf area will continue to be an area of interest for our products.”
Saudi Arabia accounts for most sales in the region with the UAE in second place, she added.
The company produces containers in the RKN and RAP models, which denote different sizes, RAP being the bigger one.
“Five or six years ago, our t-tech containers (dry ice active containers) dominated, with a 50/50 between our models RKN and RAP. Today, we have seen a growth in usage of our heating and cooling containers, the e-technology, in both RKN and RAP sizes. We do see that the bigger containers (RAP) have a larger share than the RKN containers on all of the trips going into the Gulf states,” said Sigge.
The two container sizes come in two container types: t2 active temperature control system based on dry ice refrigeration and the el/e2 active temperature control system based on compressor cooling and electrical heating.
“The ‘t’ type is often suitable on trips to the Gulf as it is capable of cooling and that works in hotter climates. Of course the RKN e1 offers more flexibility than the t-type containers as it both heats and cools and this can be preferable depending also on where the shipment is going. If it is headed for a colder climate then the container needs to heat as well,” explained Sigge.
“It is really imperative to look at the whole shipment – from start to finish – and the different aspects and conditions involved at loading, at handover points, storage, tarmac time, during flight etc. We have many services dedicated to monitoring and optimising the cold chain, for example Active Container Data and post shipment analysis.”
The company recently announced the telemetry solution which it is developing. It will be installed on all its containers in due time and allow real-time data collection and sending, except in flight, due to regulations.
“Our containers are primarily aimed at the life science market – 98 per cent of the products shipped in our containers today are pharmaceuticals or similar temperature-sensitive medicine or equipment. This is true also for the Gulf area; health care products and medication are the dominant commodities,” said Sigge.
The containers are produced in Rosersberg, Sweden. This newly opened, custom-built production and R&D facility will be able to double production from the company’s previous facility. There are also two state-of-the-art climate chambers to help customers qualify shipments through simulation of conditions on a specific trade lane, with a specific load.
Explaining Envirotainers’s marketing and distribution system, Sigge said: “We work through a leasing programme with airline partners and forwarders, who in turn lease our containers to shippers (most often life science or pharmaceutical companies). Our partner management department works with the airlines and forwarder partners. For the Gulf region, it is our global head of partner management, Bourji Mourad, who is responsible for the collaboration with our partners.”
The company has sales representatives covering all corners of the globe. They are primarily focused on supporting the pharmaceutical companies with finding the right solution in terms of both product and services for their specific shipment and trade lane. The Gulf area being in the EMEA region, the sales representative is the head of healthcare sales EMEA, Niklas Lönnkvist. He is based in Upplands Väsby, Stockholm.
“The global market is growing by 5-8 per cent per year, and we intend to grow with the market and more. All our markets are sustaining that growth,” said Sigge. We have not introduced new products since 2010, when our RAP e2 composite container was introduced. We’ve seen strong demand for this proprietary product in all markets – this is true also for the Gulf.”
While all production and development takes place in Sweden, Envirotainer’s business is truly international. “One of our greatest competitive advantages is our global network of partners within the freight forwarding and airline industries, as well as our presence at most of the world’s major airports. We also have our own operations centres in Singapore, Dallas and Frankfurt,” says an Envirotainer statement.
“Today, we are the global leader in active temperature control for air transportation of temperature-sensitive healthcare products. We have achieved this position through being an industry pioneer and an active partner. Our client list includes all of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies.”
Envirotainer was founded in 1985. A decade later it developed and marketed the first container with an active temperature control system.