“Just a few months ago, AFKLMP Cargo already invested in 1,118 m³ of additional controlled-climate room (CRT) at Schiphol using the same hybrid technology. With the construction of
this brand-new climate-cool room, we will be as flexible as possible to handle more vaccines if necessary.”
Enrica Calonghi, Global Head of Pharmaceutical Logistics at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) recently announced that a new climate-cool room was being constructed at its Schiphol Pharma Hub especially for the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine transport.
A dedicated task force will handle the COVID-19 vaccine operations when the time comes, and the company is preparing across its hubs and 120+ pharma destinations worldwide. The 2,061 m³ cold room
(COL) with a temperature range of +2°C to +8°C, offers a host of features to best protect and handle the Covid-19 vaccines, amongst them flexible temperature ranges, central control room
monitoring, temperature alarm system, and a speed door to limit exposure. “We are fully prepared for shipping Covid-19 vaccines,” GertJan Roelands, SVP of Sales & Distribution at
AFKLMP Cargo, is convinced: “The transportation of pharmaceuticals and other healthcare goods is a strategic priority for AFKLMP Cargo.”
Also in Amsterdam, the Pharma Cargo Community has joined forces
At Europe’s 4th largest airport, Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), Schiphol Cargo, and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, along with shippers, pharma producers, forwarders, airlines, ground handlers and trucking companies have joined in a “vaccine readiness” Task Force which is tackling four possible “COVID-19 vaccine scenarios”, based on different temperature ranges. It will host a round table on 29SEP20, where the Schiphol Cargo Community, Dutch Customs, and the Dutch Ministry of Health, are all invited to discuss methods of mapping capacity, from ground handlers to airlines, as well as back-up solutions.
“As an industry interest group, part of the supply chain, we have a social responsibility to participate and do our part in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine – it is not just about the Netherlands, it is about getting the vaccine distributed at speed to the world,” Maarten van As, Managing Director, CAN outlined the reason behind the collaboration, which has seen the community come together proactively and constructively to ensure the temperature-controlled supply chain is ready for the safe and efficient transportation of COVID-19 vaccines, even without knowing key factors yet, such as when, how, where to, size/weight, etc.
Safety, security, space, and supply – many aspects to consider
Ferry van der Ent, Director of Business Development, Schiphol Cargo described the challenges: “The most important thing is to provide a safe, secure, and reliable trade lane, especially when there is a peak in demand, so that we can guarantee the vaccines are tamper-free, with no temperature excursions and handled properly. The Dutch Civil Aviation Authority is also very supportive in granting permissions for COVID-19 related ad-hoc flights. We are now focusing on a fast and swift handling process on the tarmac, getting the vaccines as soon as possible to the end-customer via the distribution channels, rather than storing them at the airport. As a back-up option we have to be prepared to collaborate across all modes and with everyone in the supply chain and explore all options. That could mean collaborating with other Good Distribution Practices (GDP) centers and facilities and connecting with our colleagues in ocean, for example at the nearby Amsterdam and Rotterdam harbors where they have GDP-certified cooling areas and lots of capacity.”
The silver lining to the Covid-19 cloud is definitely the move towards cooperation and collaboration, along with the focus on quality and process efficiency. The cargo industry demonstrates creativity, resilience, and willingness to find solutions.
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