Air Transport Publications
Login   |   Register
jobs Jobs
events Events
My bookmarks

In the headlines

Rhenus temperature-controlled logistics reach new heights

International freight forwarder Rhenus Logistics married fashion and food in its shipment to the Arab Fashion Week last month, transporting 101 of Cocoa To Thrill’s handmade chocolate stilettoes more than 7,000 km. Chocolate shoes may seem like the dream delivery, however, there are many factors that made this journey extremely complex.


The challenge

International freight forwarder Rhenus Logistics undertook the task of transporting 101 handmade chocolate stilettoes from Fulham in London to Dubai.

Throughout the delivery, there were three main complications that had to be overcome; packaging and storage; temperature regulation and getting the order through customs.


Storage solution

Upon receiving the order, it was clear that the intricacy of the chocolate stilettoes demanded a bespoke packaging and storage system. Although they arrived with some degree of protection, the shoes were still fragile. The Rhenus team initially planned to keep the shoes in layers, separating each leg of the pallet with stanchions. This would give the pallets additional strength, ensuring not only that the chocolate would not be touching, but the top layers did not weigh on the lower layers and damaging them. However, the initial plan was rendered unusable when the order arrived significantly larger than anticipated due to the type of packaging used.

The increased size of the shipment led to a strategic change in the packaging of the stilettoes, exchanging the original pallets with specialised box pallets, readying the shipment for export.  


Tackling the temperature

Rhenus transports shipments to and through Dubai on a weekly basis. However, most will travel frozen and packed together with additional coolants to protect the cargo from high external temperatures. For this particular shipment, however, the intricate detail of the shoes meant greater care had to be taken when packing the shipments with coolants. For the shoes to remain in pristine condition, the temperature could not fluctuate, as this would cause the chocolate to ‘bloom' (when the cocoa butter rises to the top of the chocolate and causes a white cast), marring its appearance.

To prevent temperature damage, coolants were placed on top of the pallets, ensuring the cargo was maintained at the optimum temperature as it was transferred from aircraft to warehouse, to delivery vehicle. To further negate the effects of heat, Rhenus worked to optimise the shipment’s route, ensuring it experienced minimal exposure to external temperatures and, kept it between 2° to 8° degrees Centigrade.


Cutting through customs

Having never sent a shipment outside of London, Cocoa To Thrill was understandably apprehensive when it came to exporting the shipment through customs. To put the client at ease, Rhenus organised for the process to take place while the shipment was in Germany, awaiting its connecting flight.

Cocoa To Thrill company director, Samona Williams, commented: “Rhenus took care of all our customs worries and were on hand when we had any questions and concerns. Rhenus kept track of the shipment and held our hand through the process.”

Each Rhenus branch works as a local entity with the resources of a global network. It is this personal approach that enabled Rhenus to spend time talking with Cocoa To Thrill and answer all the queries they had concerning the shipment.

Temperature controlled logistics can be complicated, therefore ensuring you have the right forwarder who can cater to every need is a necessity. For more information on the full range of services offered by Rhenus, including its temperature-controlled logistics, please visit




You must be logged in to post a comment.

Please login or sign up for a free account.

Disclaimer text: The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily express the views of Air Transport Publications Ltd. or any of its publications.