FedEx activates Project Airbridge operation

Fedex Chief Customer

FedEx Express has announced the delivery of its first shipments as a part of Project Airbridge, a public-private partnership managed by the federal government.

FedEx has contracted with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide expedited shipping of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies critical to COVID-19 relief efforts. FedEx Express reported its aircraft are being used to transport critical PPE supplies from manufacturers around the world to the US. The operation aims to accelerate delivery of PPE and other medical supplies, moving them via air instead of ocean.

Once the shipments have arrived in the US, they will become part of the US Strategic National Stockpile. The FEMA Movement Control Team will then manage distribution to healthcare facilities and workers throughout the country.

In coordination with DuPont, two initial shipments were transported from Vietnam to Texas carrying more than 450,000 Tyvek® protective suits. In the weeks to follow FedEx aims to ship 500,000+ suits per week.

FedEx will also operate several flights this week carrying PPE for Medline Industries Inc. from China to Illinois. Medline anticipates bringing 7m facemasks, additional PPE and anesthesia supplies to the US.

FedEx said it covers areas from pick-up and break-down, to document preparation, export/import clearance, cross-docking and storage to support the movement of critical PPE.

FedEx has been involved with numerous organisations and institutions to help with relief efforts, such as its collaboration with:

  • HHS, the Tennessee Air National Guard and other agencies to move 4m COVID-19 test swabs to cities across the US
  • Direct Relief to ship more than 4m masks and more than 1m pieces of personal protective equipment globally and shipments of masks, gloves and disinfectant wipes to 1,000 community health centres across the US, as part of the FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative.
  • International Medical Corps to transport and deploy 41 medical shelters to Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico that will support frontline providers in patient flow and treatment.
  • American Red Cross to ship biomed products, including blood units.
  • Overnight SenseAware® monitored shipments of more than 150,000 test samples from remote test sites around the US to diagnostic labs.

To minimise the health and safety risks its 475,000 employees are exposed to, FedEx has also suspended signature requirements for most deliveries, promoted social distancing on the job, briefed team members about prevention measures, provided sanitizers and disinfected working areas.

Source: FedEx