FedEx starts shipping first wave of C-19 vaccines in the USA
FedEx Express announced today (13Dec20) that operations have begun to transport Covid-19 vaccines provided by BioNTech/Pfizer. According to the integrator, the first COVID-19 vaccines will move to dosing centers located across the United States. The step follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The distribution of the serums will be balanced among major cargo carriers, and FedEx is working closely with healthcare customers to prepare for additional vaccine shipments and transportation of critical vaccine-related supplies. The Memphis-based package service provider stresses their network is well-positioned to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments around the world with temperature-control solutions, near real-time monitoring capabilities and a dedicated healthcare team to support the express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments.
“This is among the most important work in the history of our company, and we’re honored to be a part of the effort to help end this pandemic,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corp. He went on to say: “I am immensely proud of our dedicated team members who continue to go above and beyond to help ensure the safe movement of these critical COVID-19 vaccines, especially during our busiest holiday shipping season to date. This is who we are and what we do at FedEx.”
To help reach underserved communities with the COVID-19 vaccine, FedEx has committed $4 million in cash and in-kind transportation support to several nonprofits serving communities in the U.S. and around the world. These include Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, and Heart to Heart International.
“This is a historic moment and represents a monumental feat for vaccine development and expedient deployment,” said Mike McDermott, president, Pfizer Global Supply. “Outstanding logistics is critical to get our products to those who need them across the country, and we’re happy to partner with FedEx in this historic effort to save lives and put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Jettainer’s launches cool&fly as vaccine challenge solution
cool&fly is Jettainer’s latest service: a comprehensive management service that includes cool ULD ordering, steering position, monitoring, and after-service management. The solution offered to airlines, is intended to maximize efficiency in the deployment of cool containers, thus combatting the impending risk of these ULDs becoming a limited resource during the peak vaccine transport period. Further, building on past experience of having until now managed around 12,000 cool ULD orders for various well-known airlines, Jettainer’s cool competence center in the Middle East has seen an increase in manpower to prepare for the upcoming vaccine challenge. It will serve as a single point of contact, available around the clock, to ensure the smooth operation of the entire cool ULD journey. “Securing supply and managing containers for temperature-sensitive goods is an extremely complex mission that requires absolutely accurate and attentive management. This includes on-time ordering and positioning, as well as constant traceability and monitoring throughout the entire process chain in order to be ready for an immediate response to all eventualities as there is no margin for error due to the highly valuable and sensitive goods involved,” the release emphasizes.
“The logistical challenges involved when transporting vaccines by air are huge. Maximizing the efficient use of the cool ULDs will be key - reliable management of all interfaces from a single point will minimize risks during the transport. cool&fly and our highly experienced cool competence center provide customers with the perfect solution,” said Thomas Sonntag, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH.
Etihad Cargo partners with Validaide for greater digital reach
“Transparency” is one of the words often stated as a key requirement when discussing pharmaceutical supply chain collaboration, and one that Etihad Cargo has decided to take up. It recently entered into partnership with the global platform for special handling services, Validaide, thus extending its digital reach to over 500 logistics providers across 70 network stations, to co-manage and co-share station facilities for pharmaceuticals and other special cargo with global customers. Both companies are active members of Pharma.Aero and intent on driving digitalization. Etihad Cargo, which is IATA CEIV-certified for Pharma, will also provide access to its other special cargo service solutions such as for perishables, animals, valuables and dangerous goods.
“In this constantly changing environment, the logistics industry needs to understand where capabilities lie and what constraints exist. Through Validaide, Etihad Cargo will provide their customers with additional transparency on their station capabilities, including new SOP and Lane Risk Assessment features, while reducing the time to collect and manage this information by 95%,” said Martin Drew, Managing Director – Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Cargo. “The move is decisive considering the anticipated distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Following the launch of Etihad Cargo’s specialized pharma and healthcare service, PharmaLife, which offers tailormade, sector-specific pharmaceutical shipment solutions, the Validaide partnership provides additional digital capabilities to global pharma customers. Etihad Cargo can now extend the use of Validaide in various business processes by integrating station capabilities data into the corporate website and booking system,” he added.
Eelco de Jong, CEO at Validaide, stated: “Transparency on transport and storage conditions is critical for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, which require extensive industry collaboration and data sharing. Etihad Cargo’s addition to our Advisory Board extends our industry community model and will assist in defining a development roadmap to address global needs.”
LATAM counts Qatar as latest country in its network
30NOV20 saw the first ever LATAM Group flight to Doha, Qatar. The cargo-only B777-300 left Brazil laden with perishables, amongst them Chilean cherries headed for Asia. After landing in Doha 18 hours later, the cherries were transferred to LATAM’s interline partner, Qatar Airways, to continue to their end-destination Shanghai, China. The LATAM flight returned with electronics. "Landing in Qatar for the first time is the clearest demonstration of our commitment to satisfy the needs of our cargo customers. With the help of our subsidiaries, we managed to successfully coordinate and implement a route permitting to reduce transport time to relevant markets while supporting export and import markets in South America,” said Kamal Hadad, VP Network and Alliances of LATAM Cargo. The coordination in preparation for this first-ever connection, was carried out by a team of over 50 people.
On 07DEC20, a second Doha-bound LATAM flight set off, this time carrying more than 95 tons of fresh fruit, which again interlined onto Qatar Airways at destination, bound for Shanghai, China, and returning with over 60 tons of electronics destined for Brazil and Chile, just in time for the Christmas shopping peak. This time, the flight took 18 hours to get from Guarulhos, Brazil to Qatar, since it passed by Santiago, Chile, and had a technical stop in Recife, Brazil, before continuing to Doha. "We are aware this route is temporary and responsive to the high fruit season in Chile and the greater demand for electronics during Christmas time, but we will continue to adapt our operation to better serve our customers and carry South American products to the world,” Mr. Hadad said.
In addition to this, the Latin American freight carrier announced the free transportation of Covid-19 vaccines once available in all countries it operates domestic flights (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru). Last November, the LATAM Group operated more than 17,000 domestic flights in those markets.
TIGERS takes measures to minimize Post-Brexit chaos
Tigers has set up a new linehaul solution to support customers in keeping supply chain disruption at a minimum come 01JAN21 and the full force of Brexit. Via its two facilities in Thurrock, UK, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Tigers’ customers can opt to split their e-commerce inventory between the UK and Europe, keeping track of stock online through its Virtual Warehouse. To this, it has now added a Virtual Logistics Facility enabling the physical location of the goods between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), aimed at facilitating last-mile delivery. "From January 2021 we will operate a linehaul between the UK and EU for goods which have been consolidated at customers' sites, for either B2B or B2C business to serve their end customer in the EU as usual from the UK,” said Shahar Ayash, Tigers Regional Managing Director, Europe. "Moving from a 'one box' supply chain concept serving the EU and UK to a 'two boxes' supply chain brings benefits, such as simplistic VAT for B2C, speed to market, and last mile cost reduction in a post Brexit environment. On the other hand, there are other complications, such as cost, and control of the split inventory. Some businesses are just not ready yet to open a second location and for them we developed our transportation solution so they can continue to serve the EU from the UK and vice versa while adopting their supply chain to the new terms and conditions post-Brexit."
Sharon Page, Director Freight Forwarding at Tigers, outlined the service Tigers, which has Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Authorized Consignor and Consignee status, offers to its customers: “We will prepare an Export Declaration and Transit Document for the goods to be exported to the EU, which we will then transport to Rotterdam where we facilitate the import clearance process to Customs-clear the goods into the EU. Once import clearance is released, we will perform a cross-docking function to ensure safe final mile delivery throughout Europe."
Dream-lifter to commercial rescue
Antonov Airlines’ AN225 Mriya (“Dream”) with its unique 250 ton capacity, which has been involved in a number of relief flights this year, transporting over 1,300 tons of humanitarian and medical cargo during the COVID-19 pandemic, is now being put into commercial operation to support customers in the capacity-scarce heavylift segment. “There is a surge in demand for AN-124 aircraft at the present time and therefore ANTONOV Airlines is doing its best to help customers in this difficult situation and support them worldwide, providing the required airlift capability," said Andriy Blagovisniy, Commercial Director, ANTONOV Airlines. "Taking into consideration the current very limited availability of AN-124 aircraft on the market, we are giving priority to time-critical cargo and to give additional lifting capacity, we will enter our AN-225 aircraft into commercial operation after running routine maintenance. We are a responsible airline and put flight safety first, ensuring the proper maintenance and airworthiness of our entire fleet, working with full technical support from holders of AN-124-100 and D-18T engine Type Certificates and conforming to our safety policy, as well as national and international regulations. Proper maintenance and lifetime extension are important to ensure the safe operation of both the aircraft's engines and airframes."
TUI, Condor and SunClass now also bookable on CargoAi and WebCargo
Just a couple of weeks after cargo.one announced the trio’s inclusion in its booking platform (CFG reported: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/11/22/short-shots/), CargoAi and WebCargo followed suit last week with their announcements, both applauding the cooperation with the airlines’ GSSA, the ECS Group which is aiming to provide optimum service to its airline customers. “Our customers need us to support them in new ways to maximize their income and digitizing the distribution processes is one of them. We therefore connect to all major e-booking platforms in the market to sell the cargo capacities of airlines under Total Cargo Management contract in a more efficient way”, Cédric Millet, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at ECS Group, explained.
“These three airlines offer a multitude of destinations. Our users can now benefit from this by reserving their capacities on our platform in a few seconds,” CargoAi CEO, Matthieu Petot, commented, adding, “We offer a turnkey service to our customers by doing all the technical work upstream, without the need for any investment on their part. These are the types of actions that will lead to a digitized industry, equal to its importance in the world economy.”
“We are delighted to add Condor, TUI, and SunClass Airlines to WebCargo, which
offers the largest selection of Digital Air Cargo (DAC)-enabled airlines” said Manel
Galindo, WebCargo CEO. “Together, we are committed to providing the necessary tools for carriers to manage fast-changing rates and capacity and provide their customers with the best possible service.”
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