Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has launched “Project Coldstream” to coordinate its response to the anticipated global transport of some 16 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Led by Mike Duffy, WFS’ EVP for innovation, the taskforce is working closely with airlines, forwarders, logistics providers, government agencies and trade associations, including Pharma.Aero and TIACA, to clearly understand temperature and handling requirements.
WFS said the group will be responsible for developing in-house solutions to the logistical challenge, ensuring the preparedness of its pharma handling capability, devising plans for additional capacity where needed, and working closely with WFS’ airline customers.
The air cargo handler currently operates 12 dedicated pharma facilities in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Miami, New York JFK, and its €10 million state-of-the-art pharma centre at Paris CDG. WFS ensures that these pharma hubs are IATA CEIV or Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certified or compliant.
With countries and trading blocs securing orders for over 5 billion doses, the transport of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to commence by the end of 2020 and reach its peak in the second half of 2021 and continue until 2022.
WFS said some 65,000 tonnes of vaccine will require air cargo transport, not to mention the ancillary hardware and PPE which will be needed to administer it.
To meet the demand, WFS will also ensure the preparedness of other key stations across its network spanning 175 airports in 20 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Africa.