CARGOCONNECT-JANUARY 2021 - Flipbook - Page 61
After accomplishing the feat of delivering
life-saving drugs and essential commodities
worldwide in response to the COVID-19
pandemic, the Indian air cargo industry is yet
again prepared for the biggest challenge of
delivering the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines
regionally and globally. The COVID-19 vaccine
is the most anticipated product and its delivery
and distribution programme will be massive and
elephantine, and the industry is already expecting
a massive upswing in air freight demand keeping
in mind the urgency of the situation, as vaccines
complete phase III trials. Airports and airlines
are now proactively and aggressively working
towards accomplishing targets as select
countries start rolling out vaccines.
Ritika Arora Bhola
hile the world still awaits the valuable
drugs to get ‘Green Nod’ from the central governments, leading
global pharma manufacturers like Pfizer and BioNtech, as well
as Moderna and AstraZeneca have been in news recently for
their COVID-19 vaccines had shown brilliant efficacy rates. In
fact, the two companies have already received emergency approvals and vaccine is set to be given first to the front-line
health workers, care home workers and those aged over 80.
Now all the eyes are on the logistics sector to assess the readiness for distribution in India and worldwide.
No doubt, cargo communities have started preparing for
this biggest event. Surely, it will take considerable planning
and effective coordination between airports, airlines and logistics companies to take up such a high-stakes challenge.
In a recent report, IATA highlighted a very important aspect of vaccine distribution to billions of people. There needs
to be an adequate distribution model from the original point
to the complete end-to-end network.
The report says, providing a single dose to 7.8 billion people
would fill over 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, but the actual
figure will depend on many assumptions that are yet to be
determined, some vaccines might require a second dose. Ancillary items such as syringes, swabs or further treatments may
also add to the traffic flows.
Another important aspect that should be considered is how
much of the distribution will be done by the surface transport,
acknowledging the proximity of some populations to the
Temperature integrity and last-mile delivery will remain
major aspects behind the difficulty of shipping the COVID-19
vaccines. However, let’s take a look at major Indian airports who
claim to be ready and preparedness for this biggest event of 2021.
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