Three hundred and forty million doses. That’s roughly how many COVID-19 vaccines are required to inoculate Southeast Asia. As a global aviation hub, Singapore is aiming to help the region achieve that goal by ramping up its cold storage capacity at Changi Airport to become a centre for Covid-19 vaccine distribution for Southeast Asia.
UPS aims to support the country’s ambitions by deploying ultra-low temperature freezer farms at its dedicated healthcare logistics facility in Singapore. The freezers in these farms can reach temperatures of up to -80 degrees Celsius and are identical to those currently used by the parcel company in its global facilities for Covid-19 vaccine storage. Just slightly larger than an average household refrigerator, the freezers come with surprising storage capacity, and a single unit has the potential of housing enough doses to inoculate the entire population of Punggol.
UPS had the opportunity to showcase its latest ultra-cold chain capabilities during a visit to the facility by Singapore’s Minister of Transport, Mr. Ong Ye Kung; he was hosted by Scott Price, President, UPS International, and Sebastian Chan, president of global freight forwarding and contract logistics for UPS Asia Pacific.
Scott remarked, “Right from the start, UPS has been actively participating in global COVID-19 vaccine distribution. We have delivered more than 152 million doses into 46 countries to date. But more needs to be done in accelerating equitable vaccine delivery to underserved regions, and this is where Singapore comes in. The country is an important hub in our smart global network and home to our Asia Pacific headquarters. We are excited to boost our vaccine distribution readiness in support of this goal.”
Beyond storing and transporting vaccines, UPS Healthcare’s ‘network within a network’ has also delivered important supporting elements for administering COVID-19 vaccines, such as syringes, diluents and accompanying medical supplies. Its continued success in Covid-19 vaccine deliveries is also creating long-term value for the future distribution of new drugs, especially biologics, which make up more than half of all new pharmaceuticals in the pipeline.
“With increased capabilities in cold chain storage and transportation, UPS Healthcare is ready to support the delivery of future medicines,” said Sebastian.