If you’re struggling with technical, sector terminology, or have seen specific words, phrases, or acronyms and initialisms on our website that you don’t understand, this guide is for you.

Technical language is sometimes unavoidable; however, it’s important to us that the content on our website is both technically accurate, and accessible for first time visitors and experts alike.

Scroll through the alphabetised list, or simply type the word, phrase, acronym or initialism into the handy search bar below.

We hope you find this guide useful. If you’d prefer to speak directly with a member of our team, please contact your local office and we will be happy to help.

Jargon/Initialism/AcronymMeaning
UN1845UN Dangerous Goods number for Solid Carbon Dioxide Dry Ice Class 9*
UN2814UN Dangerous Goods number Infectious Substance (humans) Category A*
UN2900UN Dangerous Goods number Infectious Substance (animals) Category A*
UN3373UN Dangerous Goods number Biological Substance, category B*
3PLThird Party Logistics provider
4GUUN Dangerous Goods identification for Corrugated board outer box with a “universal” payload
6.2UN Dangerous Goods Class 6.2 (Infectious Substances) *
7DAn ISTA certified testing procedure designed to evaluate the effect of external temperatures on individually packaged products.
95kPa95 Kilo Pascals, a value of pressure, defined in the regulations, that a container must remain leakproof when withstanding. *
AbsorbentMaterial, typically fabric sheet, required by UN DG regulations to go between primary and secondary packaging to absorb liquid if the primary is ruptured. *
ADREuropean agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road, dangerous goods regulations.
APIActive Pharmaceutical Ingredient. Often produced remote from the finished pharmaceutical
ATMPAdvanced Therapy Medicinal Products
ATMOSA thermal modelling program that allows us to conduct accurate thermal testing on packaging digitally
Atmospheric testing chambersLarge units that can be programmed to ensure testing can be conducted accurately against specific temperature profiles.
BiotechnologyA broad area of biology that involves the use of living organisms or parts to create different products.
CADComputer Aided Design, a software tool for product design and visualisation
CAD cutTerm for the sampling of cartons/products by use of a Computer Aided Manufacturing machine
Category AUN Dangerous goods classification for infectious substances*
Category BUN Dangerous goods classification for biological substances*
CDMOContract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (sometimes called CMO) provides outsourced contracted services from drug development to manufacturing.
Certified solutionsCertified solutions are products that have been tested to ensure performance.
CIEV PharmaThe Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics is a globally consistent, recognised and standardised certification for pharma shipments in airfreight.
Class 9UN Dangerous Goods classification for miscellaneous materials (Inc. Dry Ice) *
Cold chainA cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain.
ConditioningThe preparation process for PCM materials required in a specific phase before use within a system
Coolant conditioningTo achieve accurate levels of temperature control, coolants are maintained at specific temperatures before being used to pack the payload.
Cool packTypically, a semi-rigid sealed pouch of material, usually water based, for use a PCM within systems. Can be used generically for any sealed PCM system component
CMCCarboxy Methyl Cellulose. A safe natural polymer usually powdered highly absorbent of water/fluids. Also used in Gel bags
CMOContract Manufacturing Organisation (sometimes called CDMO) provides outsourced contracted services from drug development to manufacturing.
CROClinical Research Organisation: 3rd party clinical trials operator
EMAEuropean Medicines Agency (European federal pharmaceuticals regulator)
Environmental TestingTerm to describe the testing of systems under simulated external environmental challenges most commonly thermal, shock and vibrational and humidity/moisture.
EPSExpanded Polystyrene, moulded or sheet insulation material
EutecticTerm for the optimised melting point of a blend of different chemicals
FDAFood and Drug Administration (US federal pharmaceutical and medical regulator)
FluteTerm to describe the corrugated component of cardboard, usually given letter grades.
Gel Packs/Gel BagsSealed pouches of gel material, usually water based, for use as PCM within systems
GDP/cGDPGood Distribution Practice (current c) a quality system for distribution (storage and transport)
GLP/cGLPGood Laboratory Practice (current c) a quality system for laboratory operation and reporting
GMP/cGMPGood Manufacturing Practice (current c) a quality system for manufacturing of product
HFEAHuman Fertilisation & Embroyology Authority
HRAHealth Research Authority
HTAHuman Tissue Authority
Hydraulic TestA means of testing my pressurised fluid the ability of a container to remain leakproof at a given pressure (see 95kPa)
IATAInternational Air Transit Association (publisher of regulations)
ICAOInternational Civil Aviation organisation (author of regulations)
IMDGInternational Maritime dangerous goods regulations
IMPInvestigational Medical Product
ISO9001ISO 9001 is defined as the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organisations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
ISTAInternational Safe Transit Association, a testing and oversight body on transport of goods
Label complianceLabels indicating that packaging if fully compliant in accordance with various transport and government regulations.
MHRAMedicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
MKTMean Kinetic Temperature, a (disputed) measure of temperature exposure for products
Open platform conceptIndicates the software or product is open to users. This means it can be altered to suit user requirements.
OQOperational Qualification, a quality process using a system to determine its efficacy
PassiveIn the temperature-controlled packaging sector, “Passive” packaging refers to solutions that operate without an electrical supply providing heating or cooling. Instead passive solutions use insulation and thermal media to ensure temperature control is achieved.
PayloadAnother word for ‘cargo’, or ‘product’ in the context of sample transport and temperature-controlled packaging.
PCRPerishable Cargo Regulations (issued by IATA) see Chapter 17 for relevant to DGP
PDPharmacodynamics (what the drug does to the body)
PharmaceuticalA compound manufactured for use as a medicinal drug
Phase 1,2,3 and 4 clinical trialsClinical trials stages prior to approval, each corresponds to a different component of the federal approvals process
Phase Change Material/PCMA material which is intended to change physical phase (melt/freeze/sublime) at a specific temperature thereby providing thermal stability
PKPharmacokinetics (what the body does to the drug)
PI602Packing Instruction for Dangerous Goods, UN 2814 & UN 2900 IATA*
PI620Packing Instructions for Dangerous Goods, UN 2814 & UN 2900 ADR*
PI650Packing instructions for Dangerous Goods, UN 3373 IATA & ADR*
Pneumatic TestA means of testing by pressurised air the ability of a container to remain leakproof at a given pressure (see 95kPa)
PoCProof of Concept
PoTProof of Technology
Product efficacyProduct efficacy refers to a products ability to produce the desired or intended results and is often used when discussing pharmaceutical products or vaccines. In the case of certain vaccines, temperatures must remain stable for the vaccine work when administered.
PrimaryRefers to the first layer of protection around a sample that is being transported. For example, a test tube or blood vial.
PQPerformance Qualification, a quality process testing a system to show its capability
PU - PURPoly Urethane Foam, moulded or sheet insulation material
QualificationA process often involving testing of a component, specific system of components or process to determine whether a necessary standard of performance has been met.
Qualified packaging solutionsPackaging products that have been tested against industry accepted standards.
ReagentA substance or mixture that is used for chemical analysis or chemical reactions.
Real time trackingRefers to the ability to monitor data such at temperature and location while packaging is in transit.
RIDDangerous goods regulations covering the transport of dangerous goods by rail
SecondaryThe second layer of protection around a sample that is being transported.
Shipping labelsLabels that can be affixed to packaging solutions during transit, detailing address details and other relevant information.
SMART packagingSMART packaging refers to packaging that has been combined with modern technologies such as real-time tracking.
Specimen classificationThe organising of different samples and specimens into different categories based on their attributes. Classifying specimens correctly means they can be transported safely and compliantly.
StabilityThe character of a pharmaceutical or ingredient in response to different temperature exposures
StereoA printing plate for a single colour of print in a unique pattern
STPSpecimen or Sample transport packaging
TCPTemperature Controlled Packaging
Temperature excursion/deviationA situation where the payload temperature falls outside the desired temperature range.
Temperature parametersTemperature parameters include a maximum and minimum temperature that should not be exceeded.
Temperature profileTemperature profile are comprised of a temperature-based data points that can be cycled through when testing temperature-controlled packaging.
Temperature sensitiveA product or item that can be adversely affected by changes in temperature.
Temperature Sensitive Health Care ProductsRegulatory term for the materials covered in IATA PCR*
Thermochromic labelA label where the appearance will change when subject to specific temperatures.
ToolingMoulds, dies, fittings and stereos to permit production of a specific product
TORTime out of Refrigeration: A measure of the stability of drug exposure to adverse temperatures
T&TSTime and Temperature sensitive
Tracking softwareA digital platform that can be used for monitoring an item.
UN/United NationsBody responsible for the publication of model dangerous goods regulations which are followed to a greater or lesser extent in all subsequent DG regulations
Universal packoutA standard way of packing or building a packaging solution that is replicated across multiple products.
USPUnited States Pharmacopeia Federal guidance on good manufacturing practices in pharmaceutical production, storage and distribution.
Vacuum testA means of testing by placing within a vacuum, the ability of a container to remain leakproof at a given pressure (see 95kPa)
VIPVacuum Insulation Panel, high performance sheet insulation material
Vector GraphicsA term for images and artworks which are scalable and can be manipulated by component
Volumetric weightVolumetric weight is often used when calculating shipping costs for large and lightweight packages. It is calculated from an item’s length, width and height but can be calculated differently depending on your courier.
Waste Board/WBA paper grade for corrugated, available natural only
WDAWholesale Distribution Authorisation. Anyone who procures, stores or supplies medicines must apply for an authorisation. (replaced Wholesale Dealers Licence WDL or WL).
XPSExtruded Polystyrene, sheet insulation material

*See appropriate Dangerous Goods regulations or contact a member of our Technical team for more details