Not staying passive, ABC gears up for vaccine distribution

ABC is working across the supply chain to prep for vaccine production and distribution, recently securing a lease deal for passive containers.

Air & Cargo Services air cargo Air Cargo Asia air cargo freight Air Forwarding air freight Air Freight Asia Air Freight Logistics air freighter air freighting Air Logistics Asia Air Shipping Asia AirBridgeCargo airlines cargo airways cargo asia cargo news cargo aviation cold chain logistics Covid-19 pharma cargo ULD supply

Boeing 747-8F aircraft carried 19 ULDs with 500,000 vials of human albumin in a charter flight from Leipzig (LEJ) to Guangzhou (CAN) via Novosibirsk earlier this month (Credit: ABC)

AirBridgeCargo has been making its rounds delivering 840 tonnes of equipment from Frankfurt to Atlanta using Boeing 747-8F for the production of coated cyclo olefin polymer (COP), a lighter alternative to glass made of plastic that is used to make small vials for life-saving drugs.

Working with Streck Transportge and Zahoransky AG since August, ABC said the equipment would help ramp up production to 600,000 vials per day, and delivery will continue until end of the year.

An article by the Post in July reported that the US government signed a $143 million contract with an Alabama-based manufacturer to make 120 million of such vials by end 2020 and as many as 1 billion by April 2021. Imagine how many would be needed for test trials and actual production across the globe.

Also read: AirBridgeCargo, Kuehne+Nagel run pharma charter service from Leipzig to Guangzhou

“It is amazing to realize that the equipment we transport today will facilitate the production of more secure plastic vials made of COP which we might be delivering later with COVID-19 vaccines inside, once the Phase 3 trials are finalized,” Yulia Celetaria, global pharma director at ABC commented.

The Russian cargo carrier has seen emerging demand for COVID-19 vaccine-related shipments, such as vials, ampules, injectors, as well as production equipment, and it predicts more than 50 percent of COVID-19 vaccines will be air freighted from India, China, UK, USA and Europe.

Carriers within Volga-Dnepr, ABC’s parent company, have been moving regular shipments of healthcare products under different scenarios and temperature requirements to prep for the “biggest product launch” or the massive shipment of vaccines across the globe.

Recently the Russian carrier signed with Sonoco ThermoSafe to expand its container portfolio with more passive containers for ABC Pharma.

The air cargo carrier has been keeping tight relations with container lease providers and expanding both passive and active container options to transport life-saving shipments like vaccines and other healthcare products.

The company is also leveraging demand for return shipments under various logistics solutions to position containers back to their original stations, including using charter flights.

If one can remember, AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir, also part of Volga Dnepr, worked with freight forwarders, ground handlers and container makers to organise the air lift of insulin stored inside 18 active containers.

Celetaria, in a statement, said ABC is “stepping away from the fragmented nature of the air cargo industry toward a collaborative approach where all the stakeholders function as a single unit to ensure the integrity of pharmaceutical products.”


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