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Cargo spotlight

DoKaSch: Premium pharma containers for temperature-sensitive pharma

Remember the famous TV ad from the 1990s: a driver tells his wife that he is late due to his car having a glitch. The husband receives a well-deserved slap in the face with her remark “It is a Mercedes!” Well, even if you don’t drive a German premium car, you get the humor. So, if you tell your insurance you had an incident with the Opticooler, you might run the same risk as the gentleman in the TV spot. The reliability of these active cool containers is unmatched, according to many insiders in the airfreight industry.


Originally the Opticooler was developed for the carrier Lufthansa in 2004. Since 2013 the containers are available at many other airlines as well as through the Frankfurt-based company DoKaSch Temperature Solutions. The list of their customers has grown significantly over the years, resembling the “Who’s who” of the airline industry. Nowadays, the number of temperature sensitive shipments is considerably stepping up, since the demand for temperature-controlled transport solutions is rapidly increasing. In some cases, also electronic components or other precious goods require a temperature-controlled environment. This is when the “Opticooler” goes into action – the transportation of temperature sensitive freight. Every container is equipped with several electronically controlled heating and cooling units that guarantee its functionality even if the ambient temperatures vary between minus 30°C during a Canadian winter or plus 50°C during a middle-eastern summer.



A man and his mission
Andreas Seitz is a busy man. The CEO of DoKaSch Temperature Solutions runs a large fleet of “Opticoolers” around the globe. He knows that the airfreight industry is still a very “manual” business, with many handover points between forwarders, ground handlers and customs officials. A container full of insulin or vaccines can be easily left on the tarmac for hours due to delays, or custom clearances can take ages in an environment with no adequate temperature regulation. Such conditions can become a serious threat to pharmaceuticals that are transported in passive containers. The reason is, that passive containers are limited in their runtime and “recharging” is a long and tedious process. Active containers like the “Opticooler” on the other hand maintain a stable internal temperature, even for weeks, if mains supply is available.

“In this highly sensible business segment that we are part of, a claim could easily run into the millions should things go seriously wrong somewhere along the supply chain,” Seitz says. Worldwide, airlines are beefing up their warehouses for cool transports, but only a few are GDP-certified with sophisticated controls and well-trained staff. If something goes wrong along the transport chain of temperature-sensitive products, it is a nightmare to find the culprit. So, why take the risk?



System redundancy as the key
A former airline manager by heart, Seitz has adopted the aviation mantra of redundant systems. Unlike simple aluminum ULDs, the battery-powered Opticoolers have been designed by a team of German engineers without compromise and deliver an unmatched performance. “It’s a combination of factors,” Seitz adds, “the technical layout of the containers, the maintenance conducted by specialists each time a trip is completed, a very precise temperature regulation, and a rugged design to master the harsh day to day cargo handling business.

The existence of four compressors guarantees a constant air flow in the case of an individual component failure. Actually, only 2 compressors would be sufficient for temperatures up to 40°C. An easy to handle control panel that doesn’t require much training of ground personnel to comprehend the functions of a few buttons further adds to the safety of the freight.”



Premium transport for premium products
DoKaSch offers customers two types of “Opticoolers”, the larger RAP model, capable of accommodating up to 5 euro-pallets, and its smaller brother, the RKN designed for a single euro-pallet. As the value of transports of pharmaceutical products or electronic equipment can easily be in a double digit million range – plus a hefty insurance premium – the rental costs for an “Opticooler” might seem expensive at first.

But if you consider avoiding a slap by your costumer with an almost 100% transport reliability, Made in Germany, you probably don’t want to even think about cheaper options.


For more information, please visit or call +49 (0) 6142 - 836 938-0,