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Dry ice blood shipment from Bloemfontein to Oxford

dry ice


Our client is an international cancer centre contributing to the understanding of disease processes, clinical practices, and biomedical research. Employing thousands of scientists and doctors, they have established partnerships with a variety of clinics, hospitals, medical organizations, and universities with the end goal of promoting preventative healthcare. They needed a reliable, quality-driven, Life Sciences logistics provider to support their biological products transport needs for their end-use research. In this case study, Royale International facilitated the transport of 1 litre of frozen blood from Bloemfontein to Oxford.


Dry ice refers to a solid form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which requires extra care and attention when handling. To transport Life Sciences products with dry ice safely, it is important to have a Life Sciences logistics provider that provides the right packaging and executes the correct handling and storage procedures.

The main difficulty in arranging transport for this shipment was a dry ice shortage in Bloemfontein where the cancer centre was located.  It was essential to seek an alternative solution to ensure the blood remained frozen at all stages from collection to delivery.

The second obstacle was choosing the appropriate packaging.  The frozen blood had to remain at between -78.5°C to -20°C throughout the entire transportation process.  Careful packing must be conducted when dealing with dry ice, as it releases CO2 gas continuously, which if packed incorrectly, would lead to a pressure build-up and eventually rupture the packaging. 

The final challenge was determining what flight routing the shipment would be taking to ensure the correct amount of dry ice was utilised to prevent any potential temperature excursions. 


To address all of these challenges, Royale International designed a tailormade express freight solution using dry ice, ensuring the frozen blood was transported safely within its required timeframe and temperature range.

Due to the dry ice shortage in Bloemfontein, Royale acted quickly by sourcing it from Johannesburg and bringing it directly to the shipper’s site.  At the cancer centre, we utilized a Biotherm 14 Dry Ice packaging with a 96-hour validation time.  Although this packaging only requires 8.5kg of dry ice, we had a buffer amount, considering the added transit time for positioning the dry ice to the shipper’s site.

On site, we filled the Biotherm 14 Dry Ice partially, carefully placed the blood and temperature data logger, and topped off the packaging with dry ice according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Next, the packaging was labelled according to IATA guidelines.

16 hours after collection, the shipment safely arrived at London Heathrow Airport, completed clearance and was out for delivery to the Clinical Centre in Oxford.  Our client was pleased with another successful shipment without delay or temperature excursion!


Click here to learn how Royale supports dry ice shipments!

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