The vaccines were donated by the United Kingdom to help tackle the pandemic, as announced by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on 28 July. The four million doses will be shared directly with countries in need. Another five million doses have been offered by the UK to the COVAX global vaccine sharing scheme that aims to accelerate global equitable access to immunisation against the pandemic.
"We are incredibly proud that DHL Global Forwarding was entrusted with supporting the complex logistics for these vital doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. DHL has a strong global network; our Life Sciences & Healthcare teams in the UK and in the countries receiving the doses worked around the clock to ensure that the life-saving vaccines arrived safely and promptly in 15 countries across Africa and South East Asia," said Paul Chinery, Vice President Air Freight, DHL Global Forwarding UK.
"Crown Agents has been shipping and distributing supplies for over a century; this includes the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to the most remote communities on earth such as Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands. Appointed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, we are delighted to have led on the intricate logistics of these dispatches, working closely with DHL to ensure they arrive safely at their destinations." said Fergus Drake, CEO of Crown Agents.
DHL Global Forwarding arranged for the collection of the vaccines from facilities across the UK before forwarding them to the respective countries by air. One of the key challenges in the shipment of the vaccine is the stringent temperature requirement. The doses were therefore shipped in special active thermal containers to ensure consistent temperatures in transit and in locations that lack the physical infrastructure to otherwise maintain the required temperature. Temperature trackers equipped with sophisticated GPS technology were also fitted within each active container to provide full visibility throughout the entire journey.
To date, DHL has transported more than 731 million vaccine doses to 153 countries worldwide. The shipments completed now mark another milestone in combatting the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. In keeping with our mandate of connecting people and improving lives, DHL is proud to continue playing an active role in seeking a safe, new normal for the businesses and communities we serve.
More than 9,000 life sciences and healthcare specialists work across DHL's dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organisations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalisation, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between.
DHL's portfolio for the healthcare industry includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites, 135+ medical express sites, and a time-definite international express network covering over 220 countries and territories.
On a global scale, logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide - also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where approximately 3 billion people live. To provide global coverage over the next two years, DHL estimated in its vaccine logistics whitepaper that up to 200,000 pallet shippers and 15 million cooling boxes as well as 15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain setups.
Source: Deutsche Post DHL