Anyone who works as a first responder, or transports electronics and sensitive equipment in the military or oil and gas industries already knows who Pelican is. The company’s impressive growth stems from a range of products that help people move high value cargo in a safe and efficient manner. Pelican is set to launch a new consumer electronics division next month, and the January acquisition of Minnesota Thermal Sciences (MTS) has provided a substantial boost to Pelican’s BioPharma division.
I had the opportunity to speak with Pelican’s President & CEO Lyndon Faulkner, who explained the rationale for the MTS acquisition.
Pelican launched its BioPharma division in 2012. Less than a dozen of the company’s 1,250 employees worked in the new division, although Pelican leveraged a number of consultants and contractors to research the Phase Change Materials (PCM), and Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP) technology that’s used to ship temperature sensitive products.
Faulkner explained how Pelican considered a buy-versus-build strategy. “Since the launch of our BioPharma division, we’ve worked on developing our own passive shipping product. As things started to take shape and we identified the requirements for the right solution, it became clear that MTS had the type of product we set out to create.”
MTS had already incorporated six years of R&D, customer feedback, innovation, and refinements into the Credo passive shipper. MTS’ patented technology provides superior thermal protection that can keep pharmaceuticals, tissues, biologics, diagnostics and blood supplies within specified temperature ranges, for up to 168 hours, without the need for dry ice. But with just 35 employees, MTS’ ability to promote its brand on a global scale was somewhat limited. Pelican plans to aggressively invest in MTS, and use its global footprint to accelerate the adoption of the Credo product line.
Today, much of the demand for shipping life science products comes from international markets. All of the major pharmaceutical companies compete on a global scale. They manufacture drugs overseas, and the demand for vaccines is exploding in third-world countries. The supply chain required to service these global markets is also expanding into places where wide body jets (with active shipping containers) cannot reach. It’s becoming obvious that passive packaging solutions will have to play a greater role in servicing the cold chain around the globe.
With more than 1,250 employees (and growing), Pelican not only has the sales and marketing resources to promote the Credo product line on a global scale, but its distribution network in the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, China, Korea and India make it easier for customers to return shipping products for refurbishment after multiple uses. Most passive packaging solutions are effective for anywhere between a handful and a dozen turns through the supply chain before needing to be checked.
As was the case with previous acquisitions (Hardigg and Trimcast), MTS will become part of Pelican. All 35 of MTS’ employees will work in Pelican’s BioPharma division, which is now led by MTS CEO, Tom Anderson. Pelican will maintain MTS’ facility in Plymouth, Minnesota.
“With MTS on board, we’re now offering the widest range of products to ship any type of high value and/or temperature sensitive cargo, and we’re making it easy for customers to obtain, use, return, refurbish, and reuse our packaging solutions anywhere in the world,” concludes Faulkner.
From the conversations I’ve had with sources throughout the industry, the mix of MTS’ Credo products with Pelican’s global sales and distribution network is a winning combination. For more information, visit: http://www.mnthermalscience.com, and www.pelican.com.
Edited by Rich Steeves