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New cold chain for more reliable and sustainable cold deliveries


To ensure high-quality cold deliveries, Oriola is renewing cold chain in distribution centres in Finland and in Sweden. Introducing modern technology not only increases operational reliability and storage capacity, but also makes cold deliveries much more sustainable.

Ensuring high-quality pharmaceutical distribution is one of the highest priorities at Oriola, and we are continuously developing our abilities to meet the needs of our customers and society. One area in securing product safety is making sure that pharmaceuticals have the right conditions during storage and transport. Some products, such as insulin for diabetes and many vaccines, need cold conditions. Also, special biomedicines are a growing product group that require unique solutions. To meet these increasing needs, we are renewing our cold chain in our distribution centres in Finland and in Sweden during the spring 2021.

“We are bringing into use new cooling technology that increases operational reliability as well as storage capacity for cold products and speciality pharmaceuticals. At the same time, this initiative improves our environmental impact. The new cooling system is based on CO2 technology, which has significantly lower emissions and will decrease our energy usage,” says Nicklas Widding, Director of Business Unit Distribution at Oriola.

Temperature control for at least 30 hours

The renewal covers both the facilities for warehousing cold products and the transport boxes used in deliveries. In cold product deliveries, the inner temperature of the transport boxes must be between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. The new transport boxes have better insulation and modern cold shields, which keep the temperature even more stable and controlled for at least 30 hours.

“This brings more flexibility to the deliveries, as they are less time sensitive, reducing the impact of potential delays in transport. The boxes are also more spacious, which reduces the number of boxes delivered to our customers,” Widding notes.

For the environment, the benefit is reduced energy usage in the cooling process. The new cold shields can be cooled in 3 °C, whereas the old cold shield required a freezing temperature of minus 20 °C.

In Finland, the new cold facilities and the new transport boxes were taken in use during February 2021. In Sweden, the new boxes were introduced in autumn 2020, and the new cooling system and cold facilities partially entered use in January 2021. The implementation of the new facilities will be finalised in spring 2021.