Air Canada enhancing Toronto cold chain capabilities

MONTREAL — Air Canada has kicked off a $16-million project to expand and enhance Air Canada Cargo’s cold chain handling capabilities for shipments such as pharmaceuticals, fresh food and other perishables at its Toronto Pearson International Airport cargo facility.

Image: Air Canada

The project is part of Air Canada’s strategy to further develop its cargo division, which also includes the acquisition of freighter aircraft, the launch of dedicated freighter routes and an expansion into e-commerce.

“Our new temperature-controlled facility, which will be the only one of its kind for a Canadian airline, represents a significant addition to Air Canada’s on-site capabilities at Toronto Pearson and to Canadian cold chain logistics,” said Jason Berry, vice-president, cargo, at Air Canada. “It will also give Air Canada Cargo a strategic advantage at our main hub, which handles more than 60 per cent of all our traffic, and will support the launch of routes to be served by our new freighter aircraft.”

Once completed, the upgraded facility will feature over 30,000 square feet of temperature-controlled areas and an expanded cooler to fully meet the requirements of cold chain shipments such as pharmaceuticals, fresh food and other perishables.

The extended cooler will accommodate more unit load devices (ULD) and loose shipments with COL (+2°C to +8°C) and CRT (+15°C to +25°C) temperature requirements, provide additional racking, and an upgraded dedicated area for active temperature control units. These enhancements are the first step in a multi-year investment plan for the facility and are part of several planned infrastructure investment projects for Air Canada Cargo, the company said.

The project also includes the installation of energy efficient equipment including temperature controllers that will constantly monitor the conditions inside the facility and only regulate the temperature as needed, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Rapid roll-up doors will be installed to minimize the energy loss when the cooler is accessed to store or retrieve goods. LED lights will be installed throughout the facility, further reducing energy consumption.

Air Canada is CEIV Pharma certified by IATA, which signifies that the airline meets the highest standards of safety, security, compliance and efficiency in the transport of pharmaceuticals.