Based in Springfield, Mo., Chill-Pak is a premier manufacturer of insulated shipping containers that protect parcel and bulk shipments of sensitive products requiring precise temperature ranges. Its cold chain solutions are suitable for highly specialised applications including pharmaceuticals, biologics, chemicals and food.
Chill-Pak is a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE), a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and a HUBZone-certified business. And the company is adept at handling complex challenges. "Chill-Pak's agility stems from my own personal trials and tribulations of having a disability and being profoundly deaf since birth", says President and CEO Stephen Foster. "Given the right tools, the right resourcing and the right opportunity, anybody can be successful, and I'm a true testament to that."
After COVID-19 arrived in the United States in March 2020, and vaccine development was underway, government agencies and several state health departments approached Chill-Pak seeking suitable vaccine shippers. These new vaccines would need a logistics chain that had never been developed before.
Confronted with this pressing need, Chill-Pak sought a packaging solution that could be implemented quickly and at a lower cost than traditional temperature assurance shippers. The new shippers needed to maintain temperatures from -89 C to -70 C and extend the shipping cycle by 24 to 36 hours, while minimising shock, vibration and freight costs.
After partnering for nearly a decade on cold-chain shipping solutions, Chill-Pak turned to Sealed Air. To meet this first-of-its-kind logistics challenge, Sealed Air put forth a customisable PUR packaging solution to meet ultra-low vaccine temperature requirements while minimising shock and vibration, reducing cube size, and reducing coolant usage. SEALED AIR® brand customisable PUR foam packaging is a two-part polyurethane solution designed to mitigate temperature excursions during the cold-chain shipping cycle that can lead to loss of vaccine efficacy. Chill-Pak can custom fabricate both traditional unibody designs and knock-down designs that ship flat, giving them more flexibility than traditional shippers, which can be very expensive to modify.
"Sealed Air is a great partner for us because of their three decades of experience with temperature assurance packaging. They came to us when we were working on a project for a Fortune 100 customer, and we were struggling with the manufacturing process. Within about 48 hours they were in our building with new equipment and new components to help us complete that project. We are still serving that customer to this day.”
— Julie Kilgore, Vice President of Temperature Assurance Packaging at Chill-Pak™