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Targeting Middle East logistics, companies demonstrate vaccine proactivity

December 1, 2020

Kuehne+Nagel, Qatar Airways Cargo, Hope Consortium distribute freight, tackle supply chain issues in Covid-19 fight

As part of the "1 million kilos" charitable initiative, Kuehne+Nagel and Qatar Airways Cargo have donated air freight services to UNICEF to help combat Covid-19.

The "1 million kilos" initiative is part of the larger sustainability "We Qare" project of Qatar Airways Cargo, in which the airline is donating one million kilos (2.2 million pounds) of freight for humanitarian aid including medical supplies, such as protective equipment, until the end of 2020. The one million kilos are allocated to freight forwarders to give to charities of their choice.

In other parts of the Middle East, the city of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) is also facilitating coronavirus vaccine distribution efforts by launching the Hope Consortium, whose mission is to tackle all supply chain-related concerns related to coronavirus vaccines: transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, digital technology infrastructure and assisting with availability. The group is expected to be able to handle over six billion vaccine doses (single or multi doses) in cold and ultra-cold conditions in 2021, which will increase to over three times more doses by the end of next year.

Distribution of the treatments, which will be stored in Abu Dhabi Ports Company warehouses, will be carried out by Etihad Cargo, the first Middle Eastern carrier to gain IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics; the company provides end-to-end thermal shipping, and on behalf of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, transported five million vaccines this past month.

Other consortium members consist of the aforementioned Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Rafed, the healthcare purchasing piece of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, and SkyCell, which creates temperature-controlled containers for the pharma industry, including hybrid ones. The technology is constantly tracking conditions to make sure that inoculations are protected. With insulation and cooling technology, the containers are able to maintain a steady climate for an average of 202 hours (8.4 days) and self-recharge automatically in a cooling chamber or reefer truck. The Switzerland-based manufacturer will have a regional service and manufacturing location in Abu Dhabi.