ABC and DHL successfully tria RKN containers

AirBridgeCargo (ABC) along with DHL Global Forwarding successfully completed the trial of RKN containers for pharma shipments from Russia

AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has successfully completed a multi-modal shipment trial for DHL Global Forwarding (DGF) to deliver healthcare products from Moscow to Miami using an RKN active cargo container in accordance with Good Distribution Practice (GDP) cool chain standards.


The RKN is a certified air cargo ULD container which ensures the integrity of pharma products by maintaining product temperatures in either the +2 to +8°C range, in the controlled room temperature range of +15 to +25 °C, or at any chosen set temperature within the operating range of ±0 to +20°C throughout the transportation process.


For the trial shipment, AirBridgeCargo’s pharma logistics practitioners opted to use an abcPharma active solution using an Envirotainer RKN unit, replacing real vaccines with service water in order to test the delivery process at each step of the transportation and monitor the condition of the water, which replicates the state of vaccines under similar circumstances.


Together with DHL Global Forwarding Russia, ABC’s pharma experts supplied the Envirotainer RKN unit to the customer’s warehouse and accepted the cargo as a fully built-up unit ready for carriage at its airport warehouse premises. This represents a new solution in the Russian market for an RKN to be physically loaded in a pharmaceutical cooler of a production plant without additional cross-dock operations during the main leg delivery to Miami. The total solution provided by the ABC and DGF teams covered delivery, leasing and guaranteed customs clearance for the customer as well as ensuring a minimum transit time and the elimination of temperature risk.


On 24 November, the trial shipment took off onboard one of AirBridgeCargo’s Boeing 747 freighters from Moscow on its direct route to Chicago, where it was met by local ABC representatives, who monitored the offloading and ensured the smooth transportation of the Envirotainer RKN onto a refrigerated truck to take the more than 400 kg of ‘vaccines’ to Miami. Even though the special container can run on battery power for more than 90 hours and sustain the required temperature range, it was decided to maintain +50 C inside the truck to introduce a second safety measures. From Miami, the RKN continued its journey to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, onboard another carrier.



This is the latest demonstration of AirBridgeCargo’s commitment to make its abcPharma product the best possible solution for customers requiring high quality pharma logistics. The airline achieved IATA CEIV Pharma certification in 2016 and has since developed a number of special benefits for pharma customers, including the use of digital technologies to send automated notifications to all supply chain stakeholders via the Sky Fresh web platform, and supporting industry-level initiatives such as Pharma.Aero to generate a home-grown pool of logistics experts and orchestration of all internal handling procedures. These initiatives have helped ABC report significant increases in its volumes of temperature-sensitive pharma cargoes in 2017 as well as improved overall performance.


The successful trial will see AirBridgeCargo transporting vaccines from Russia in 2018.