DHL Express has successfully delivered the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Malaysia.
In a statement, it said DHL Express worked with Malaysia Aviation Group’s cargo subsidiary MABkargo Sdn. Bhd. (MASkargo) to fly the vaccines in and subsequently arranged for them to be sent directly to designated facilities across Kuala Lumpur.
“ We have now come full circle to elevate our purpose of connecting people and improving lives with the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines to countries everywhere including the very first of shipments to the Middle East, and now to Malaysia,” said Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to make a difference and I can assure you that no effort is spared in ensuring that our well-established DHL Medical Express solution adheres to the stringent requirements of speed, quality, security and reliability when it comes to transporting these precious cargo,” he added.
The logistics behemoth noted that one of the key challenges faced in the shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine is the stringent temperature requirements of the vaccine.
“The vaccine was delivered in specially designed thermal shipper packaging customised by the manufacturer. Each shipment was packed with dry ice to regulate the temperature, enabling its use in locations that lack the physical infrastructure to otherwise maintain the required temperature,” it said.
Temperature trackers equipped with sophisticated GPS technology were also packed within each thermal shipper box to provide full visibility throughout the shipment’s entire journey, it added.
“As COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods, the vaccines represent hope for a better 2021,” said Julian Neo, managing director of DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei.
“Organising their distribution to so many people in such a short time will be an extremely complex operation that we are well-equipped and proud to contribute to.”
DHL Express noted that it has leveraged its broad experience and expertise to maintain the integrity of the healthcare supply chain, ensuring vital supplies and protective equipment reach communities and medical stakeholders in need.
DHL’s portfolio for the healthcare industry includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites, 135+ medical express sites, and a time-definite international express network covering over 220 countries and territories.
On a global scale, logistics providers are challenged to establish a medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of an unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide — also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where approximately 3 billion people live.
To provide global coverage over the next two years, DHL estimated in its vaccine logistics whitepaper that up to 200,000 pallet shippers and 15 million cooling boxes, as well as 15,000 flights, will be required across the various supply chain setups.