Rigorous planning and testing were undertaken by DHL to ensure supply chains support the vaccine’s stringent temperature requirements
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 21 February 2021 - DHL Express, the world's leading express service provider has successfully delivered the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Malaysia today. From door-to-door in just three days, DHL Express worked with Malaysia Aviation Group's cargo subsidiary MABkargo Sdn. Bhd. (MASkargo) to fly the vaccines in and subsequently arranged for it to be sent directly to designated facilities across Kuala Lumpur.
DHL Express delivers first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Malaysia
"In the past year, our teams across the world have truly embodied the As One spirit, coming together to deliver personal protective equipment, medical necessities and daily essentials to communities in need. 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 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 adhere to the stringent requirements of speed, quality, security and reliability when it comes to transporting these precious cargo," he added.
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. Temperature trackers equipped with sophisticated GPS technology are also packed within each thermal shipper box to provide full visibility throughout the shipment's entire journey.
"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. Since the onset of the pandemic, DHL Express has leveraged our broad experience and expertise to help maintain the integrity of the healthcare supply chain, ensuring vital supplies and protective equipment reach communities and medical stakeholders in need."
More than 9,000 life sciences and healthcare specialists work across DHL's dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organisations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalisation, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between.
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 medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of 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.