With aims to transform Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub by 2030, and in time for the Covid-19 vaccine distribution, cargo ground handler Saudi Arabian Logistics (SAL) revealed its new pharma and perishable facilities at Riyadh Airport’s Cargo Village on 25 November, a press release stated.
“The Saudi Ministry of Transport assured the country’s transport infrastructure and facilities, particularly air cargo and logistics, are fully prepared to handle COVID-19 vaccines once it’s ready for distribution,” the press release read, stressing handling processes and facilities meet the EU GDP standards.
The cold storage facilities have 5,000 square metres of storage space combined and can handle up to 365,000 tonnes of cargo a year. There are four docks for loading refrigerated containers and twelve warehouses to meet temperature requirements from -20°C to -25°C, as well as special storage area for flower shipments.
“The launch of the Riyadh Cold Storage facilities comes at a historic moment that coincides with the world’s anticipation for the delivery of the COVID vaccine. This urgency makes us harness the capabilities of the operation capacity of our pharmaceutical facility and be fully prepared to receive and handle the new vaccines in coordination with the health authorities,” said SAL CEO Omar Hariri.
The facilities also feature a 650 sqm temperature control breakdown area, an area for 20 active refrigerated containers, including a thermal isolation area.
SAL, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines, noted its partnership with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and the Saudi Customs will help expedite the cargo handling process to avoid an unbreakable cool chain.