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China TV station films high-profile Biocair delivery


Biocair received a request from a UK Research Institute to ship more than 400,000 embryonic mouse stem cells (10 years work) from the UK to China.

Part of the challenge included the calculation of the safest and most cost effective packaging solution – the current method of storage was in liquid nitrogen storage tanks. It was vital the stem cells remained frozen during transit.

To add to the complexity, an Animal Materials Import Permit from the Chinese government was required, along with an Export Health Certificate from DEFRA in the UK.

The import permit stated the first port of arrival into China must be Nanjing. Thus, Biocair had to source an airline that flew wide-bodied aircraft flights into Nanjing Airport from Europe.

Additionally, we needed to find an airline that could accommodate all 8 containers and over 1000kgs of dry ice all on the same flight.

Due to the transit time and the criticality the samples did not defrost, additional dry ice replenishment during transit would be required.


Biocair established the import documentary and regulatory requirements, helped the consignee to apply for the import permit and assisted the shipper in the UK to apply for the DEFRA Health Certificate.

The liquid nitrogen storage tanks were not suitable for carriage by air. After some further investigation, it was found that the stem cells could be transported in dry ice at -80C, which opened up many more options for packaging and transport.

Biocair attended on-site at the UK storage facility to perform a test packing configuration to confirm the most appropriate packaging solution for the customer. It was concluded that 8 x KryoTrans KT400D high-performance validated containers, including a total of 1120 kgs of dry ice were required. Temperature monitors were included in each container.

On the morning of export, Biocair provided additional resource to assist with the packing of the samples on-site.

The shipment flew as booked, where Biocair’s Shanghai office took over, facilitating the dry ice check and replenishment, customs clearance and delivery to the Research laboratory.

The delivery and unloading of the stem cells was a major story of interest and was filmed by a local TV station in China.


Biocair delivered the shipment on time and maintained the required temperature of -80C as shown by the temperature monitor readings.

Biocair demonstrated their passion for providing customer-centric solutions, novel packaging, temperature control, regulatory expertise, and compliant documentation particular to the material and client’s requirements. The customer was very pleased with the level of professionalism displayed and cost efficiency of the project, not to mention the peace of mind Biocair delivered to them, in what was a critical process for their business.

Do you have a similar application? Contact your local Biocair office and speak to one of Biocair's experts.