In its efforts to push the envelope in maintaining an unbroken cool chain for perishables, Emirates SkyCargo has unveiled its brand new purpose-built product - the Cool Dolly.
The fleet of six units, worth nearly AED 1million, will initially be used in Dubai and later more units will be rolled out across the airline’s network, particularly in destinations with high volumes of perishable cargo. Freight forwarders and shippers of perishables commodities can now relax in the knowledge that Emirates SkyCargo’s new development will guarantee even more personal care of their shipments and extend the shelf life of their products.
The Cool Dolly will address the challenges of maintaining the cool chain for temperature-sensitive shipments, such as fresh fruits, flowers, fish, vegetables, meat, chocolates, frozen foods and pharmaceuticals, between the aircraft and the Emirates SkyCargo Centre as well as other transit facilities at the Dubai International Airport.
Once the Emirates aircraft lands, Unit Load Devices (ULDs) with perishable cargo will be transferred directly from its holds into the Cool Dolly, which will then be housed in the Emirates SkyCargo Centre either for local collection and delivery or sent onwards to its final destination worldwide.
Comprising of a steel trailer and an aluminium insulated container, the Cool Dolly’s chlorine-free cooling system, fitted with a diesel engine and an electrical backup system, is able to maintain temperatures between +40C and -200C. These units are capable of handling all types of lower deck ULDs (Unit Load Devices), including pallets, and handle loads up to 6,800kgs.
Dave Gould, Emirates’ Vice President - Cargo Global Operations said: “We are confident that our Cool Dollies will mark a watershed in the handling of perishables internationally, and prove a priceless value-addition for our customers. Emirates SkyCargo has designed these purpose-built Cool Dollies to counter hostile temperatures, especially during our summer months, and to smoothly facilitate our increasing traffic of perishables, which now constitute nearly 20% of our business.
“Despite short transfer times between the aircraft and our facilities, hot runways can seriously degrade the product. Our Cool Dollies ensure that these highly-sensitive commodities, entrusted to us by our customers, enjoy a seamless, controlled environment throughout their journey.”
The Cool Dollies are manufactured by Van Reimsdjik Rotterdam, a JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) approved organization.
Emirates SkyCargo’s commitment to maintaining and sustaining an unbroken cool chain throughout the supply chain is well established. Its fleet of five Boeing 747-400F aircraft each have four independently-controlled temperature zones, enabling the carriage of diverse perishables, such as fish and flowers. The Emirates SkyCargo Centre in Dubai has extensive storage areas for perishables, even though most of the consignments are delivered within two hours of arrival and others are rapidly transferred to other destinations.
In June last year, the cargo division entered a global partnership with Envirotainer, ensuring temperature-controlled cool-tainers are available to customers across its network. Emirates SkyCargo is a member of the Cool Chain Association, which was established to harmonise the global movement and handling of perishables and temperature-sensitive products.