German cryogenics firm develops Covid-19 vaccine container solution

Shipping and financial markets have reacted positively to yesterday’s hopeful Pfizer coronavirus vaccine news. However, logistical concerns continue to be raised about the distribution of the drug, which needs to be kept at a temperature of minus 80 degrees Celsius, something most doctor’s practices would struggle to store in volume around the world.

German cry technology specialist MECOTEC Group has stepped in today with a solution to the huge logistical roll out of a global vaccine, debuting a mobile hybrid container solution for Covid-19 vaccines.

The containers can transport and store up to 1m vaccination doses in one standard size container at temperatures down to -80°C. Active deep cooling technology ensures safe and controlled transport and storage without dry ice.

The proposed MECOTEC solution would see vaccines frozen on site immediately after production in a kind of deep cold storage. The vaccines can then be loaded into a container and safely transported to the distribution station at constant minimum temperatures down to – 80°C. On site at the distribution station, the transport container then functions as a storage and distribution center.

MECOTEC has already developed a mobile cold store solution as prototype, an industrial solution with which the vaccine can be frozen directly at the manufacturer’s facility. For this purpose, the cold store system is located near production, the container is set up outside the production building. Immediately after production, the vaccine is deeply frozen in the cold store. This cold store solution can be set up anywhere where the vaccine is available for deep cooling.

“The project knowledge that we have gained with the development of the prototype as well as our many years of experience in the field of cooling technology made it possible within a very short time to adapt this deep-freeze facility into a transport, storage and distribution container,” explained Jan Hüneburg, managing director at COOLANT, the industrial division of MECOTEC.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective based on initial trial results, the drugmaker said yesterday, expecting the US to give the go ahead to start distributing the drug by as early as next month.

Last month, Maersk, the world’s largest containerline, sealed a deal with Pfizer rival, COVAXX, to ship the American pharmaceutical firm’s Covid-19 vaccine around the world when and if it gets approval by regulatory authorities.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Mecotec develops cryogenic container solution …..and posts artist impression pictures on its website.
    That is far from a finished product which is ready to transport worldwide quantities of super cooled vaccine as from January 2020.;
    Methinks this press release is jumping the gun somewhat.

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