Air Cargo Prepares For Biggest Ever Product Launch As Vaccine Nears Roll-out
According to the Aircargonews, air cargo prepares for distribution as the vaccine nears roll-out. The air cargo industry is preparing to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. It is described as a the biggest product launch in the history of mankind and is scheduled to be distributed this year. Yesterday, developers Pfizer and BioNTech announced that trials had shown that its vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19. The two firms will now apply for emergency approval to start using the vaccine before the end of November.
The developers hope to produce 50 million doses by the end of this year and 3 billion by the end of 2021. Each person needs two doses. The important thing is that we have to store and transport them at -80 ° C. This feature limits the number of features available.
8 billion doses are needed to vaccinate the entire world population. Earlier this year, the IATA estimated that about 8,000 B747 aircraft were needed for that number. This is only if we assume that each person needs a dose. Accordingly, we will need 50 B747 freighter flights for the doses produced this year. We will also need 1,300 by the end of 2021.
However, this statistic only shows the amount of capacity required. In fact, land freight will take action and take most of the pressure from the air freight.
A paper from supply chain consultant Europhia Consulting shows that the vaccine will be produced locally for about 3.9 billion people. While 4.2 billion people are in countries that may need the vaccine to be transported from other parts of the world.
The biggest challenge will be connecting manufacturer production sites to distribution markets, Europhia said.
Large distribution markets such as China, USA, Russia and Europe have locally produced vaccines. It is distributed using land freight. On the other hand, many other countries across the continent need air freight to get the vaccine. As a result, they will face their own challenges, including lack of capacity. The current population of the UK, for example, is 62 million. We need about 100 B747 aircraft to ship the vaccine and immunize the entire population from a faraway manufacturer.
He added that due to capacity constraints, we expect air freight rates to increase. The Pfizer has stated that the vaccine needs a temperature of -80 ° C. Moderna has developed another vaccine that requires a temperature of -20 ° C.
The industry was already ready to deliver the vaccine at 2 to 8 ° C. The temperature requirements of 20 and 80 ° C have further added to the complexity. Because the logistics sector of air freight industry has never experienced a challenge.
“Many airports do not have such facilities to store large volumes of pharmaceutical products at 2-8° C,” he said. However, shipping goods to emerging countries by airport and truck is likely to be a major challenge.
However, there is still a long way to go. Several supply companies, such as UPS and DHL, have begun investing heavily in new temperature-controlled capacity. UPS recently added 600 freezers. They are able to control temperatures of -80 ° C near UPS air bases. Each of these freezers can hold 48,000 vials of vaccine.
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