New products rival Envirotainer

For some years Envirotainers have been the standard in specialist containers for the shipment of perishables. First with its dry ice and battery models, and since 1995 with its RKNe1, a condensor-driven active heating and cooling container, the Swedish company has dominated the market. But now new entrants are coming into the market offering rival […]


For some years Envirotainers have been the standard in specialist containers for the shipment of perishables. First with its dry ice and battery models, and since 1995 with its RKNe1, a condensor-driven active heating and cooling container, the Swedish company has dominated the market. But now new entrants are coming into the market offering rival products and businessmodels.

Examples include Unicooler, which is backed by Lufthansa; Skycooler which uses containers made by Van Riemsdijk (see separate story); and the AcuTemp RKN Thermal Pallet Shipper, which ismarketed by AmSafe Bridport.

The AcuTemp product, which is now undergoing final FAA certification, is a condensor-driven container, like the RKNe1. It can run on battery or mains electrical power and can maintain temperatures from minus 4 degrees C toplus 25 degrees.

Steven Boyd, US director of sales for AmSafe Bridport, explains that it also uses a new insulation material called Thermocor, which has 5-7 times the insulation power of the conventional polyurethane. Though it is also a little heavier, the Thermal Pallet Shipper uses a thinner layer of it, giving three times the insulation properties with noweight penalty.

Like the RKNe1, but unlike conventional battery and dry ice Envirotainers, the AcuTemp product also includes integral data loggers, which record container temperature, ambient temperature, all opening and closing of doors, and whether the condensor is being powered by battery or mains electricity. This data can be uploaded at the end of the journey to provide a full audit trail for the consignee, something that is increasingly vital for the pharmaceutical shipments at which the AcuTempcontainer is aimed.