Cool chain remains an important sector for American Airlines

American Airlines Boeing 787

The cool chain remains an important part of business for American Airlines (AA) Cargo, and new routes means it can offer the service to more destinations, acting managing director – cargo sales, Roger Samways (pictured below) tells Air Cargo Week.

AA added Tokyo Haneda and Auckland to its network in 2016, with additional flights to Hong Kong, and Samways says this has resulted in strong two-way cool chain traffic.

He comments: “We are bringing New Zealand lamb directly into the US and we have fresh fish traffic in both directions notably to and from China and then there’s our fresh flower business which involves bringing cut blooms up from South America and sending them onward right across our network.”

Samways says flower shipments bloomed for Valentine’s Day while South American teams saw noticeable increases in movements of mangoes and papayas.


He adds: “Fish traffic in all directions continues to perform well and we are gearing up for even more enhancements to our specialist pharma offering in 2017 with additional service to Philadelphia and new CRT (cool room temperature) rooms at key international locations.”

To ensure cool chain products are kept in optimum
condition, AA offers active and passive solutions with
its ExpediteTC product.

The active solution employs advanced, temperature-controlled containers to actively regulate temperature levels, and AA is the first passenger carrier approved to carry the full suite of Envirotainer products.

The passive product protects pre-packaged shipments requiring additional temperature control during transport.

Samways points out that the customer can choose the service that best suits their requirements, adding: “If they are shipping though our pharma hub at Philadelphia then they have all the benefits of utilising one of the world’s most advanced pharmaceutical handling facilities and a highly trained team of dedicated professionals to deliver the highest service standards so that we can deliver uncompromised product integrity every time.”

The entire supply chain needs to work together, and Samways says: “We’ve built a reputation for developing partnerships with specialist pharma freight companies around the world and we back that up with the scope of our own facilities globally.”

He adds: “It’s about the whole package, being able to provide the end to end service and showing that best practice in cool chain must be delivered every time in order for this premium product to be delivered in the right condition every time.”

Drug manufacturers expect their goods to be in safe hands at all points of the journey, and Samways says this is why AA striving to install CRT facilities across key locations around its network.

Samways says: “Too many so-called cool chain products are actually only viable at one end of the chain, not both.  But that’s something the pharma companies are very aware of and they make their choices accordingly.”