Leading global supply chain operator GEODIS has transported 13 million masks from China to the U.S. utilizing an Antonov AN-124, the world’s second-largest aircraft. This shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived at Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport on 22 May and is the largest delivered to the airport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the help of an Antonov AN-124, GEODIS has been able to make sure millions of essential workers receive the masks they need to stay safe and healthy during these unprecedented times,” said GEODIS Americas President and CEO Randy Tucker. “Our team at GEODIS and our partners, including the Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, that helped make this happen so quickly are supply-chain heroes. We are proud to serve on the front line in partnership with our clients to keep essential materials moving across the globe and business running at a time when the world needs us most.”
The Antonov, which GEODIS chartered on behalf of its client, is an aircraft specially designed for transporting large quantities of cargo. It has the added benefit of allowing freight to be rolled on and off the plane, making loading and unloading operations easier and faster.
Experienced in this critical element of the global supply chain response to COVID-19, GEODIS established an air bridge between China and France to transport PPE for the French Government as early as March. Involving multiple flights over the subsequent weeks, and employing two Antonov AN-124s, the consignments will consist of several hundred million masks.