CARGOCONNECT-NOVEMBER 2020 - Flipbook - Page 24
than 250 vaccines
are being developed and trialled.
And as COVID-19
leapfrogged development phases,
‘stringent temperature requirements (up to
-80°C) are likely to
be imposed for
to ensure that
their efficacy is
Keeping all of that in mind, logistics
operators have been expanding their refrigeration and freezing capabilities in recent
months and adding to their fleet of vehicles,
particularly as the scale of activity will be
vast, that cold chain facilities will be required and that delivery to every corner of
the planet will be needed.
Governments are equally responsible to
begin careful planning now with logistics
and life sciences industry stakeholders and
international agencies to ensure full preparedness for when vaccines for COVID-19
are approved and available for distribution.
Currently, more than 250 vaccines are
being developed and trialled. And as COVID-19 vaccines have leapfrogged development phases, ‘stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed
for certain vaccines’ to ensure that their efficacy is maintained during transport and
This poses novel logistics challenges
to the existing medical supply chain that
conventionally distributes vaccines at
around 2 to 8°C.
In the PPSC series, we try to assess the
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the
pharma supply chain and logistical operations through the
analysis of short and long-term responses to disruption, as
we question the supply chain leaders about how they are
ensuring business stability and adopting holistic analyticsbacked solutions to navigate through the crisis. We dive into
significant industry trends within pharma and explore the
strategies through which pharma leadership together with
its value chain partners will look at how they could ensure,
as an industry, an efficient global roll-out of a safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccine.
In this context, we also examine the role of a handful of
specialised logistics service providers/freight forwarders and
24 | CargoConnect November 2020
airline operators as they ramp up their transportation and distribution capabilities, closely
following the situation and working on different scenarios limiting to the minimum the
impact on their customers’ healthcare supply
chain. Here, we try to understand and gauge
their role as they gear up for the rapid delivery
of millions of doses of potential coronavirus
vaccines around the world, given the constraints, through their expertise and ingenuity.
For a sustainable future
Although pharma is traditionally conservative by nature, it will see a higher integration
of technological advancements in the future.
Customers will be swift in selecting alternate quality suppliers that can show value in
their supply chain as being resourceful,
knowledgeable, innovative and flexible. Thus,
there will be many growth opportunities for
companies that are willing to be creative and
solve new problems as suppliers.
Going into a changed world, flexibility
will become increasingly crucial as businesses will need to be able to demonstrate
their ability to adapt and continue operations
in the face of emerging issues.
Partnerships would also emerge as a way to
support and nurture innovation by providing
access to resources and sharing the burden of
risk. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was
limited academic interest in advanced research
on novel pathogens such as coronaviruses, and
limited pharma industry interest in investing in this foundational research due to concerns around ROI. This combination
created an environment in which novel infectious disease
partnerships were not mutually beneficial, despite the need for
them today. In light of COVID-19, such partnerships have
started to grow to meet the needs of the moment but will require additional support to ensure sustainability.
By examining trends showing that current incentives for
pursuing innovation lack long-term approaches, governments
and industry players can pursue practical solutions that will
lead to more sustainable commercialisation of pandemic innovations and better preparedness for the future.