Dr John Pring, a regulatory scientist for the UK government, launches Kryotrans Ltd, and obtains a patent for ‘a reusable plastic container with a datalogger on its outer wall’.
First products launched, and EU grant obtained to help development of KT26, a product focused on movements of clinical trials materials.
KT70 is introduced.
Recapitalization project leads to re-launch of company as KryoTrans International Ltd.
Tower flexi-fit KT400 launched, and with it the pioneering use of phase-change materials to generate class-leading compliance times, allied to simple repeatability and reliability.
Tower (standing for The One-Way Easy Rental) is launched as a product supporting the new rental market for KryoTrans products.
First overseas hub opened in San Francisco.
Tower becomes the parent company as rental business flourishes.
Tower develops Airline Ice Box container for DHL and British Airways, supporting catering services across Europe with a reusable and rugged container capable of keeping fresh foods at +5 for 24 hours.
KTM modular pallet-sized shipper introduced, allowing Tower to address the market for large-format shipments of finished pharmaceuticals.
Investec announces major initiative to invest in Tower’s growth.
Tower rents containers to the pharmaceutical industry that are used to transport products that need temperature control.
When John Pring, our founder, filed his original patent – for a reusable container with a datalogger in its outer wall – back in 2000, he was flying in the face of orthodox approaches to transporting temperature-sensitive medi-science materials.
Pring had been working as a regulatory scientist for the UK government, a position from which he was able to observe the development of four significant trends:
- the first was the move towards biologic drugs, with the need for temperature control;
- the second was the utter inadequacy of existing packaging, then largely consisting of cardboard, gel packs and polystyrene that had to be thrown away after a single use;
- the third was the growing concern around environmental issues, such as the need to dispose of single-use packaging (ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management systems, was introduced in 1996);
- the fourth, with which Pring was directly associated, was the developing range of regulations, driven by FDA in the USA and being followed by similar agencies across the world, that would dictate the ways in which biologics would be manufactured, stored and distributed globally.
Pring’s conclusion was simple: the market would need a new kind of reusable container, able to regulate temperature to a sufficient extent to facilitate global distribution (120 hours became Tower’s benchmark), robust enough to stand up to the rigours of repeated exposure to the cargo environment, and cost-effective so that the shift from cheap disposable containers could be comfortably amortised over many trips.
Pring’s first company, Kryotrans Ltd, was launched in 1999. The company was based in Dunstable, in Bedfordshire. At this time, Kryotrans Ltd was focused on selling containers to biotech companies.
In 2007 all the products were re-engineered around the use of phase-change materials as a preferred source of power as the market moved from buying to renting containers. Tower was created as a solution for the need to provide easy rentable containers to an ever-expanding market (Tower standing for The One-Way Easy Rental).
Tower’s headquarters are at Theale, less than 30 minutes west of London’s Heathrow Airport. Its other hubs are in strategic locations such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brussels, Frankfurt, Manchester, Singapore, Shanghai, Melbourne, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth: all are supported by a global repositioning service that allows customers to take Tower containers into and out of a wide range of global locations.