Customer Focus: Blood plasma shipped out of Lyttelton due to increased demand
Plasma is shipped in refrigerated containers at -35°C. Photo /LPC

LPC is working with New Zealand Blood Services (NZBS) to bring lifesaving products to New Zealanders.

NZBS takes blood donations from Kiwis nationwide, which are used daily to save lives. One of the four components of blood is plasma, which is not only used to treat patients on its own but also can be used to create up to 11 life-saving products through the process of fractionation.

NZBS works with CSL Behring and its Melbourne laboratories for this process – and that’s where the Port steps in.

Previously, plasma was transported weekly via airfreight, requiring dry ice and polystyrene to maintain a temperature of -20°C during transit. Now, plasma will be shipped in refrigerated containers.

NZBS’s Bryan White says there is an increase in demand for fractionated products that can be made from plasma, and shipping through containers is an important part of handling this increase.

The switch to shipping is also a win for the environment, with larger volumes and less waste.

“The freight is shipped in a -35°C container, with no dry ice or polystyrene needed to keep it frozen. Each container can also carry around 6,500 donations,” says Bryan.
Plasma can be frozen for up to two years, but containers will leave Lyttelton Port every three weeks.

Once it arrives at the Port, our reefer care team look after each container before it gets exported. The reefer gets plugged into our purpose-built towers, where they are manually checked by our team three times a day, with their temperature also automatically logged every 15 minutes.

LPC Operations Manager Dave Ireton says it’s a privilege to be able to safely handle such high-value cargo that has a significant positive impact on New Zealander’s lives.
“This also reflects on the professionalism of our reefer staff and the quality of our systems and processes that ensure the safe storage and loading of refrigerated and frozen cargo.

Once handled by the CSL Behring team, the fractionated product is returned to NZBS Service in Auckland and distributed to blood banks across New Zealand to dispense to patients.

Click back to latest Port news

Subscribe for the latest Port news

Website design and development by BECK & CAUL