Adopting Reuse for Cold Chain Shipping

Reusable packaging is of high interest across the biopharma supply chain sector. When it comes to passive shipping systems that rely on insulating materials, a recent industry analysis by research firm MarketsandMarkets reported that single-use packaging systems will grow by nearly 20% through the year 2026. However, reuse is expected to grow at nearly 30% during this same time period.

Reuse is gaining traction as the pharmaceutical industry becomes increasingly focused on making documented, measurable strides in factors related to environmentally friendly business practices. Even by making a change to reuse for only cold chain therapies, the water, energy and landfill waste reduction numbers are significant to the bottom line of the entire enterprise. In fact, some customers have experienced up to a 25% improvement on total corporate sustainability initiatives as a result of adopting circular cold chain packaging solutions.

Industry publication reported on the benefits of reusability in cold chain logistics earlier this year and quoted AeroSafe Global CEO Jay McHarg regarding the decision making process for pharma companies. Following are a few snippets from his interviews that detail the AeroLoop reuse program valued by several of the largest pharma companies around the world:

1. How are AeroSafe Global’s reusable containers prepared for reuse?

Each shipper and its component materials go through a thorough cleaning and inspection process after being received at one of AeroSafe Global’s 15 worldwide refurbishment centers. In fact, each individual shipper component is serialized and tracked over its lifetime. This is a critical part of our quality commitment to safely managing temperature sensitive products.

2. What is the average number of turns for AeroSafe Global’s reusable container?

In theory, our containers could last forever because we refurbish and replace any components as needed. AeroSafe Global’s return rates are consistently between 98-99%. As such, most customers use and then reuse a single shipper well over fifty times, significantly lowering the total cost per turn.

3. What factors are important to consider when deciding between reusable and single-use shippers?

Consider the process for recovering the reusable shipper, and what the percentage of shippers successfully returned and refurbished is. A reuse model only works if the shippers are retrieved. It is important to note that the financial buyer of temperature controlled packaging solutions is different than the end-recipient. As such, retrieval programs must be tailored to the needs of the clinician and/or patient in both ease and simplicity.

4. What is AeroSafe Global’s latest product for the pharmaceutical cold chain?

AeroSafe Global has been developing a real-time sustainability metrics portal so that a customer can access environmental savings across water, energy, waste, and carbon footprint. These savings are the direct result of adopting reuse for cold chain needs.

To learn more about the AeroLoop reuse program, reach out to us by visiting

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