TIACA and Pharma.Aero work on Covid vaccine planning

posted on 15th September 2020

Vaccine delivery will be one of the biggest logistical challenges in modern history, highlights Flexport’s head of air freight Neel Jones Shah

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and Pharma.Aero have joined forces to develop global guidance for the air cargo industry to enable “optimal transportation” of COVID-19 vaccines once they become available for distribution internationally. The two organisations said the guidance will be developed gradually in four work packages through a joint working group to ensure feedback from all stakeholders in the supply chain of air cargo and pharmaceuticals.

The aim is to provide the air cargo industry with “more clarity of the demands, expectations and quality supply chain requirements, including critical trade lanes, air cargo capacity, handling and storage, track and trace requirements, for the transportation of the vaccines”, and for shippers to “gain more understanding about the capabilities of the various logistics players”.

The associations noted: “This will ensure that once the vaccine is available in the market, the air cargo industry will be ready to respond to the needs of the shippers and transport vaccines in optimal conditions to all corners of the globe,”.

Neel Jones Shah, TIACA board member and global head of air freight at freight forwarder Flexport, commented: “COVID-19 vaccine delivery will be one of the biggest logistical challenges in modern history. No one company can own the end-to-end vaccine supply chain. “I’m proud to be a member of the TIACA and Pharma.Aero working group, which is doing the critical work of connecting all vaccine supply chain stakeholders to foster effective communication and collaboration. We need to start working together now to ensure the industry is prepared when the time comes.”

Nathan De Valck, chairman of Pharma.Aero, commented: “Setting up reliable end-to-end air transportation for pharma shippers is part of the vision and mission of Pharma.Aero. Amongst our members, i.e. life sciences and pharmaceutical shippers, certified airport communities and air cargo operators, we have a track record of project-based collaboration. As a result, Pharma.Aero is well-positioned to make a valuable contribution in preparing the air cargo industry for this immense challenge.”

The working group will consist of members of both organisations and will also reach out to various international organisations. The results will be shared with the industry through white papers and webinars in later stages of the programme, which aims to complete by the end of 2020, the organisations said.