On June 10th Tower Cold Chain officially opened their new Global Tower Headquarters in Reading. The MP of Reading, the Rt Hon. Alok Sharma joined to cut the ribbon and have a tour of the extensive warehouse and innovation centre.
Tower has recently played a key role in ensuring the critical delivery of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the pandemic. In the last 18 months overseas sales and the proportion of total sales exported have increased significantly. The launch of both the KTM42D for ultra-cold temperature critical pharmaceuticals, and the KTEvolution, a lightweight, manually handleable solution ideal for smaller shipments such as direct-to-patient and last-mile deliveries have helped to meet the latest cold-chain needs.
Just 30 minutes from London Heathrow Airport, the 26,000 sq. ft building has aided in expanding Tower’s container conditioning and storage capacities, as well as enhancing its design, laboratory and testing capabilities in the development of robust, reliable and reusable temperature-controlled pharmaceutical supply chain solutions. Their global network means greater availability and flexibility for airline customers to lease cold chain shipping containers.
The new headquarters features a special Innovation Centre and additional office space which is available for customer use, providing opportunities for meetings and product assessments, as well as the investigation and development of enhancements and new technologies.
The expanded laboratory facilities have aided to strengthen Tower’s testing and qualification capabilities. The facilities include two new environmental test chambers with a larger capacity for qualification and development of new product ranges, allowing Tower conduct thermal simulations resulting in bespoke solutions to each customer’s needs. The centre also includes a state-of-the-art 3D printer technology for rapid prototypes development to fast track the innovation process.
The company was one of the first to adopt phase-change materials to protect temperature-sensitive materials, as well as developing a patented built-in data logger for its products. More recently, Tower introduced a range of unique biotechnology deep frozen pack-out solutions. Data loggers are built into all Tower passive temperature-controlled containers, logging internal temperatures from -95°C (-139°F) up to 50°C (122°F). Users can get text or email notification of temperature excursions, as well as automatic data downloads throughout the transit (in-flight excluded) from loggers within range of the CX Gateway device. Their supply chain is proven to uphold one of their aims of being “reliable”, in its last 15,000 shipments, the company has recorded fewer than 0.1% temperature excursions.
Since their significant investment with Investec in 2020 they have confirmed they are on track to double the size of their global network during 2022, rapidly increasing from a fleet of 300 containers to over 3000 within a year and half. The company has seen success in the United States, Germany, Belgium, South Africa and China, coinciding with its on-going expansion of its global hub networks to maximise proximity and availability to Tower customers in all regions. Each new hub helps pharmaceutical businesses and airlines to access Tower’s range of robust, reliable and reusable temperature-controlled containers.
The company has continued to invest to drive its growth strategy, with UK staff numbers doubling over the last 3 years. They have also recently been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success. The company won its award for International Trade for Outstanding Short-Term Growth in export sales made over the last three years.