March 10, 2021

Boosting the Cold Chain and Vaccine Effort

vechicles lined up for vaccine distribution

Providing cold chain storage and logistics support at mass vaccination sites

As vaccine manufacturers continue to roll out COVID-19 vaccines, thousands of health care networks, hospitals, and large and small pharmacy groups around the world are working to properly receive and house the critical cargo, which has unique and specific cold storage requirements.

When it comes to the collective effort around vaccine distribution, robust and streamlined strategies are in high demand for safe, effective and efficient distribution models. So are supportive innovations in technology and capabilities.

Boosting end-to-end cold chain solutions

As the global leader in transport refrigeration, Trane Technologies is leveraging its expertise throughout the coronavirus pandemic to strengthen the vaccine cold chain, from critical transport and storage through our Thermo King business to cutting edge chiller and building intelligence through our Trane Commercial HVAC business.

Recently, one of the nation’s most prestigious pharmaceutical distribution companies was tasked with receiving and storing a large volume of vaccines for independent retail pharmacy customers. Unable to maintain the highly specific cold storage temperatures in its warehouse, the company worked with Mahaffey Fabric Structures, the leading provider of temporary structures and shelter solutions in the United States, to construct large temporary refrigerated spaces. Trane’s Rental Services team provided critical guidance on a chilled water solution capable of refrigerating the structures and bringing the temperature down to the required range - including set point alarms keeping temperatures consistent and sensors for remote monitoring through Trane’s intelligent services platforms.

“When Mahaffey reached out for help, we dove in immediately with valuable, innovative services and solutions,” said Matt Barga, director, Trane Rental Services. “We were proud to partner on such an impactful project, especially knowing these supplies are going to smaller community-based pharmacies”

Two businesses. One common customer

Our strategic businesses are also joining forces to help customers in other unique ways, with Trane now offering Thermo King’s SuperFreezer to customers needing alternative cold storage options.

The Thermo King SuperFreezers were derived from a freezer designed for premium grade sashimi tuna. As vaccine candidates were being developed earlier this year, Thermo King worked quickly to reposition and adapt this proven product as a solution for vaccine storage, to maintain the ultra-low temperatures required by some vaccines. Now, non-healthcare customers including food banks and grocery stores are also taking advantage of the flexible uses of this cold storage solution, tapping Trane to help fill their needs.

“Our teams are happy to complement Thermo King’s impressive, long-standing efforts,” said Holly Paeper, vice president of strategic sales for Trane. “Collectively, we’re leveraging our human capital and intelligence to help create a strong, robust cold chain.”

Lending a logistical hand

Beyond cold storage and transport solutions, we’re helping apply our manufacturing and logistics expertise in collaboration with major healthcare systems and global transport companies.

Novant Health recently announced the opening of six mass vaccination distribution sites across North Carolina, requesting 95,000 doses a week to meet high demand and ensure equitable and effective distribution. Thermo King’s large-capacity SuperFreezers are onsite to support the safe storage of the vaccines, and our teams have helped implement operational and logistical planning, allowing the sites to run as efficiently as possible.

“Trane Technologies’ expertise in helping coordinate our COVID-19 vaccination response effort has been invaluable,” said Kimberly Henderson, chief of staff and senior vice president of executive leadership development for Novant Health. “It’s amazing to see a company as large as theirs move so quickly to action. This is exactly how you build community, for the greater good.”

In Germany, just before the Christmas holiday, a large logistics customer was facilitating the setup of a mass distribution center to manage distribution to vaccine centers throughout the region. The company partnered with Thermo King to position SuperFreezer containers in the distribution center, and began testing the units in preparation for a hub and spoke vaccine distribution model. Our Thermo King team worked together with this customer on Christmas Eve, providing important advance testing support to ensure our equipment was fully ready to protect the vaccine shipments when they arrived. Shortly after, the company was able to successfully begin their COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The greatest integration of solutions

With unprecedented challenges in combating the coronavirus pandemic, the most successful efforts in recovery and human resiliency call for the greatest collaboration, including the integration of solutions, technologies and capabilities.

At Trane Technologies, we place the utmost importance on helping customers and communities around the world in the most efficient and advanced ways possible.

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“It’s amazing to see a company as large as theirs move so quickly to action. This is exactly how you build community, for the greater good.”

Kimberly Henderson, chief of staff and senior vice president of executive leadership development for Novant Health
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