Since Christmas, DHL Express, the worldwide leading express service provider, has operated more than 50 flights transporting numerous shipments of the urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines within Europe. Destinations included are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Romania and Sweden who received first batches of the vaccine for the provision of their citizens. Several of these countries already received additional batches via DHL Express, e.g. Italy, Lithuania, Norway and Romania. With its hub and gateway network, spanning 60 countries and territories in Europe and operating more than 100 aircraft, DHL Express is perfectly equipped and prepared for the regular supply of further countries with COVID-19 vaccines in Europe and beyond.
“Our Express network has already proven its strong resilience during the first weeks of the pandemic. While almost all nations went into lockdowns, none of our operations had stopped”, said Alberto Nobis, CEO DHL Express Europe. “It is in our DNA to deliver, even in times of global crisis. Thanks to our people and infrastructure we keep trade lanes open and enable our customers to continue their businesses. With international Express deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines we are supporting numerous governments in their fight against the pandemic. In Europe our strong presence allows us to move medical goods from country to country within up to 24 hours.”
Besides Europe DHL Express has also served vaccine batches to Bahrain, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel, Mexico, Oman and Singapore.
More than 9,000 specialists work across DHL’s dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalization, 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 and 135+ medical express sites.
On a global scale logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10bn doses worldwide – also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where ~3bn people live. To provide global coverage of the next two years, up to 200k pallet shippers and 15m cooling boxes as well as 15k flights will be required across the various supply chain setups.
With vaccines historically developed over a timeline of 5~20 years, the accelerated process of COVID-19 within one year is unprecedented. Stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed for certain vaccines to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccines during transportation and warehousing.