With more than 27 million global cases reported to WHO as of 8 September (SGT), the need to detect and contain the coronavirus has spurred the delivery of Covid-19 diagnostic kits for health research, but the transport would require specialised expertise in handling such shipments.
RT-PCR-type (real-time polymerase chain reaction) test kits, for instance, require an internal temperature of –20°C during transit.
DHL Express shipped more than 310 tonnes of such kits from Korea to 120 countries (including Italy, USA, and India) as of July 2020, enough to test 75 million people, a press release revealed.
To make this possible, the company said it relied on its network and the specialised DHL Medical Express team.
The team includes cold-chain and healthcare logistics experts who manage the end-to-end shipping process, as well as custom clearances and compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations.
Transporting time- and temperature-sensitive products usually require the refrigerant to be replenished, but for this particular case, DHL used special packaging material to maintain the correct internal temperature for up to 120 hours.
To guarantee fast and secure delivery, DHL carefully monitors the transportation status of all Medical Express shipments through its Advanced Quality Control Center, which operates round the clock. This also allows the company to proactively manage any unexpected incidents while in transit.
As health authorities and pharmaceutical companies continue to face the critical challenges in Covid-19 logistics, the express courier said it will invest in developing its expertise and the quality of service to provide optimal cold-chain shipping solutions.
“We are proud that our expertise and extensive network are able to contribute to supporting medical teams and patients around the world during this unprecedented pandemic. As the battle against the pandemic continues throughout the world, diagnostic kits from South Korea continue to be in high demand and we expect that exports of Korean bio products will continue its strong growth trajectory,” said ByungKoo Han, country manager of DHL Express Korea.