DHL gears up to deliver truckloads of Covid vaccines worldwide

Staff Correspondent

6 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Logistics company DHL has collaborated with McKinsey to publish a white paper on delivering stable logistics for vaccines and medical goods during Covid-19.

Currently, over 250 vaccines across seven platforms are being developed and trialled, according to the DHL’s official release.

The vaccines have reached the advanced trial stage. Hence, stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed for certain vaccines, to ensure that their efficacy is maintained during transportation and warehousing.

This poses novel logistics challenges to the existing medical supply chain that conventionally distributes vaccines at 2 to 8°C, DHL believes.

DHL has also categorised the vaccine as a highly temperature-sensitive product and, hence, the transport should be managed effectively to combat the further spread of the virus.

DHL stated that the scope of this task is immense: to provide global coverage of Covid-19 vaccines, up to 200,000 pallet shipments, and 15 million deliveries in cooling boxes, as well as 15,000 flights, will be required across the various supply chain set-ups.

Speaking on the logistics preparation, Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL, explained in the official release: “The Covid crisis emerged with unprecedented breadth and impact. It required governments, businesses, and the logistics industry alike to adapt quickly to new challenges.

As a world leader in logistics, we want to share our experience of operating during one of the biggest health crises in recent history, in order to develop strategies in an ever-more connected world,” Busch said.

She further added: “To protect lives against the pandemic, governments have moved towards a more active role in medical supply chains. Over the past few months, we have demonstrated that sufficient planning and appropriate partnerships within the supply chain can play a key role as governments work to secure critical medical supplies during health emergencies such as this.”

DHL mentioned that it is also discussing the logistics challenges with the different policymakers to improve medical supply logistics.

DHL claims to provide a framework for the cooperation of logistics companies with authorities, politicians, NGOs as well as the life sciences industry.

The framework will help in establishing measures to ensure the most stable and safe supply chains possible.

Besides an emergency response plan, this includes a partnership network, strong physical logistics infrastructure, and IT-enabled supply chain transparency, DHL noted.