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Cathay Pacific Leads the Way Shipping Vaccine

by Michael Cheng

With the roll-out of Covid-19 Vaccines across the world, airlines have started to implement new protocols and equipment to provide efficient and effective logistics services for the vaccines. Today we are here to introduce the latest technology from one of the largest operators in the APAC region, and how Cathay Pacific is leading the way in one of the largest humanitarian operations in the world.

Cutting-edge Real Time Monitoring System

Cathay Pacific has built on solid experience in transporting special cargo including pharmaceutical shipments. 
The cargo department is rolling a new realtime monitoring system, Ultra Track,  as a key part of the vaccine solution. The realtime track-and-trace system implemented Bluetooth transmitters on each shipment and monitors vital information such as temperature, GPS location, and humidity.
All data will be accessible by shippers and forwarders ,on request, to ensure the vaccines will keep wwithin the correct temperature range during the transportation. The system will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, free of charge, and will be offered for all COVID-19 vaccine shipments initially, before rolling more widely out to other shipments that may utilise the technology.
Cathay Pacific Cargo Shipment

Operations Control Centre

Under the new system, all Ultra track shipments will be centralised in the new Operations Control Centre in Hong Kong. The new OCC will be staffed by dedicated cargo and ramp professionals around the clock. The combined team will then instruct frontline staff to take actions for maining the various storage and loading requirements of vaccines.

IATA - CEIV Pharma

CEIV Pharma Recertification

The combined approach follows on from the recertification of IATA’s CEIV (Center of Excellence for Independent Validators) Pharma. CEIV Pharma covers ground sevices and warehouse operations, which are not covered by existing Good Distribution Practices (GDP) standards for pharmaceutical ground supply chains. By concentrating air cargo handling and storage requirenemment, the CEIV Pharma aims for all participants in the supply chain to act in a globally consistent manner. Cathay Pacific Cargo, and all its subsidiaries, including the cargo terminal, and ground handling agents, have all been re-certified to comply with a complete level of quality assurance at every stage – from operations to business continunity.

The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal is also being expanded to offer more temperature controlled capacity. While it is currently able to temporarily hold and transit 6.6 million doses of vaccine a day, there is more to come. Cathay Pacific Cargo’s mentioned in the company statement:

“We have just expanded so that it can handle more than seven million doses, and there will be more cold storage coming online soon. This new cold room storage will be able to handle a further 1.6 million doses.”

What’s your thoughts on this innovative tech, leading the way of the vaccine distribution? Let us know in the comments below!

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