Swissport has put its handling and facilities to the test in preparation for the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. In Brussels, the cargo team demonstrated its ability to handle temperature-sensitive air cargo in a dry-run under real-conditions.
Swissport around the world is busy establishing operational readiness for the handling of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines. Vaccines and indeed many pharmaceuticals require rigorous temperature control throughout the entire supply chain. While some types of COVID-19 vaccines might only call for temperatures around -20°C or in a range from 2°-8°C, others will likely require extremely low temperatures in the range of -70°C.
In the week commencing November 16, in collaboration with Brussels Airport, Air Cargo Belgium and Hazgo, Swissport demonstrated its ability to handle highly temperature-sensitive air cargo at its 3,620 sq m Pharma Centre in Brussels. Two separate shipments were delivered to the facility, which is part of an end-to-end cool chain. One shipment arrived in a container cooled to -70°C, while the other shipment was transported in a more conventional 2°-8°C temperature range.
Of 115 cargo warehouses which Swissport runs around the globe, 72 are equipped with temperature-controlled facilities. At this time, 13 Swissport facilities are certified under the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma standard, the British MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and other recognised organisations.
“We have been investing heavily in infrastructure and services for pharmaceutical air cargo over the past few years, which is exemplified by our state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Centres at multiple locations across the globe. We are very proud that Swissport is able to play a leading role in airport logistics for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine,” commented, Hendrik Leyssens, VP Global Operations – Cargo at Swissport.
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