SilverSkin Thermal Insulated PMC Air Cargo Cover 01Recent Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guideline changes have forced pharmaceutical companies to adopt thermal protection for controlled ambient goods during shipping. Being low cost, insulated thermal pallet covers have been widely regarded as a positive solution. But depending on what type of materials are used, there can be hidden costs or considerable savings…


Many companies use more traditional thicker type insulation wraps, often bubble foil or foam based solutions. It would be natural to consider the thicker insulation materials more suitable than a compressed foil type cover/hood and more suitable for the task required, but this is not necessarily true.

Thicker insulated materials most definitely have their place across the spectrum of uses, particularly where there are tighter temperature bandwidths (e.g. 15-25°C), harsher ambient environments (particularly cold) or extended durations of protection required, one of the reasons TP3 Global has such a wide range.

Other thermal protection options

Companies that carry out their own testing have found that the compact multi-laminate type materials such as the SilverSkin™ PH300 can still protect goods within the quality assurance parameters set or tolerances allowed.

Compact materials may not necessarily protect goods between 15-25°C for the required duration, but could possibly protect 2-40°C goods appropriately.

By taking a balanced risk approach, huge savings can be made by recognising that most shipments can be adequately protected using compressed material covers.

So what are the advantages in approving compressed insulation materials?

  • Thermal cover / blanket shipping costs:
    • A compressed insulation material (being less than 1mm thick) can be very compact when converted into a cover, resulting in a packing configuration of around 300 to 400 on a standard pallet. This is almost incomprehensible if used to dealing with thicker insulation where packing of between 20 and 30 is achievable per pallet. The cost savings of delivering covers are self-explanatory.
  • Warehouse space:
    • The resulting cost advantages of reduced number of warehouse pallet positions required are clear (estimated 90% saving).
  • Administrative costs:
    • With less space required in the warehouse, we see companies having to order less frequently. If there are four pallet spaces available for thermal covers in a warehouse, there can be 1200 compact covers verses 120 thicker blankets, thus only the need to place orders every 10 weeks rather then each week if using 120 covers per week. The stock control of the compact covers is also less onerous with more covers per pallet.
  • Cost of covers:
    • The actual cost of the covers can be less than the thicker blankets, an obvious top line benefit.
  • Speed of fitting:
    • Many well-designed compact skin tops have quicker fitting times than the thicker versions, possibly also requiring less staff. There can also be benefits depending on the location of the stock, more smaller mass covers can be located near the fitting process, so less time fetching from storage.
  • Pallet dimensions:
    • Depending on the load configuration, there can be a positive impact on pallet shipping. With slim insulation around the pallet, there is potential to make savings if cost of shipping based on dimensions. Also, there could be positive impact on the number of pallets being fitted into a container, or on an air cargo pallet.
  • Unwrapping:
    • The space required to hold used covers can be reduced considerably in comparison to thicker material cover. One PH300 cover user reported a 90% saving in refuge / disposal mass.
  • Reuse:
    • Depending on the materials used and the operating procedures developed, there may be possibly to reuse a thinner material. If a receiving site has use for covers, or they can be repositioned cost effectively to a site with need, there can be considerable cost savings within he group.
  • Disposal:
    • At end of life, certain thinner multi-laminate skin materials can be approved for ‘Waste to Energy’ disposal, where covers can be compacted and incinerated, using the heat generated to produce local power.
About TP3 Global and SilverSkin:
Since its inception in 2012, the SilverSkin range has become one of the most popular thermal cover ranges across the life science and healthcare sector. Many global pharmaceutical companies have tested, qualified and approved the covers. TP3 Global has taken great lengths to facilitate this qualification progress, SilverSkin is one of the few brands available with extensive professional test data as well as global availability. With sites in America, Europe and Asia, TP3 Global is perfectly placed to support the needs of global pharmaceutical shippers and their logistics partners.

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