Temperature sensitive shipments must be booked to the air company under the proper handling code and as “temperature-controlled health-care cargo”, as this is an exceptional service beyond that offered for general cargo.
Detailed information on managing air shipments of temperature-controlled cargo (at point of origin, by freight forwarder, by air carrier and ground handlers and at destination, etc.) is available in WHO Technical Report Series, No. 992, Annex 5, Supplement 12, Temperature-controlled transport operations by road and by air.
For road shipments, it is critical to coordinate the delivery with the consignee before dispatch and confirm pick-up time and location.
To reduce as much as possible the time that vaccines are outside active devices and to exploit cold life of the passive container, prepare and pack the product in its designated packaging the same shipping day.
If using a third-party logistics provider, make sure that they are prequalified and approved for freight forwarding/transport.
If organising the shipment by own means, ensure that the designated vehicle is in good working condition and that the driver is aware of the cargo sensitiveness. Provide the driver with clear instructions and the necessary means to ensure proper load, handling and transport. This should include:
- Always placing the cold box in the vehicle in shadow and away from warm spots, avoiding the trunk of the vehicle as this is not a refrigerated space within the vehicle.
- The cold box should be secured firmly.
- Use of shaded and secure parking areas, minimising the time during which the vehicle is unattended.
- Avoid opening the cold chain containers during transit.
- Emergency contact information to call in case of breakdown or unexpected events.
Detailed information on managing road shipments of temperature-controlled cargo (including refrigerated road shipments) is available in WHO Technical Report Series, No. 992, Annex 5, Supplement 12, Temperature-controlled transport operations by road and by air.