Air cargo not ready for ‘biggest product launch in history’ – the vaccines – The Loadstar

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© Kunal Mahto

By Ian Putzger, Americas correspondent
15/10/2020

The air cargo industry is not ready for what one of Tiaca’s directors described as the ‘biggest product launch in history’, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
Tiaca and Pharma.Aero conducted a survey last month which found that only 28% of respondents were ‘well prepared’ for the undertaking, while 19% described themselves as ‘very unprepared’.
On a preparedness scale of one to ten, the survey produced an average of 6.32, with the biggest area of concern being the handling and storage of vaccines that require deep refrigeration.
“Only 15% say they can handle vaccines that require minus 80 degrees storage,” reported Cheemeng Wong, a Tiaca director and senior VP cargo services of ground handler SATS.
The survey revealed concerns about a number of risks, from temperature excursions and lack of visibility, to capacity shortages and insufficient cool chain ground infrastructure.
Members of the panel presenting the results of the survey stressed the need for industry-wide collaboration and communication.
“We are not prepared yet,” said Neel Jones Shah, also a Tiaca director and executive VP and global head of airfreight at  Flexport. “One of the biggest fears is that we don’t connect the dots. Airfreight is …

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