Cathay Pacific prepares for safe vaccine transport

Cathay Pacific is rolling out a track-and-trace service which will be offered free of charge for Covid-19 vaccine shipments.


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Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal

Whilst Hong Kong waits for a go-signal to roll-out its vaccine programme, Cathay Pacific is developing solutions to ensure the fast and effective distribution of Covid-19 shots across the globe.

Cathay Pacific’s cargo terminal is currently being expanded to offer more cold storage capacity to handle more than 7 million doses, from the current 6.6 million doses, per day.

Its cargo division is also progressively rolling out a track-and-trace system for cargo and will offer the service free of charge for any Covid-19 vaccine shipments, according to Cathay Pacific director of cargo, Tom Owen.

Also read: Swissport opens freight hub, greets Cathay Pacific Cargo in Frankfurt

Powered by low-energy Bluetooth readers, this will provide real-time updates on shipment information to ensure vaccines remain within their required temperature ranges during transport.

Shipments using this technology will be monitored by the newly established operations control centre, where a local team of cargo professionals can instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff on the various storage requirements.

“Ultra Track will allow forwarders to monitor the condition of their vaccine shipments in near real time. It will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, and we will be offering the service free of charge for any COVID-19 vaccine shipments,” Owen noted.

Cathay Pacific is confident about meeting the challenge in distributing the vaccines after recently completing airport-wide recertification of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation at Hong Kong International Airport.

“With the vaccine being so valuable and in such limited supply, it’s critical that we get it right at every stage of the journey. We are confident about meeting the challenge, and we stand ready to play our part,” Owen noted.

“With our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen,” he added.



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