Dubai forms Vaccine Logistics Alliance to speed up distribution of vaccines worldwide
Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai Airports, DP World and International Humanitarian City join hands to distribute vaccines by air, land and sea within 48 hours to any point of destination around the world
Racing against time to distribute COVID vaccines to even the farthest shores on the planet, Dubai recently took the initiative to launch the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance to speed up the distribution of these vaccines through the emirate, particularly to developing countries struggling to inoculate their people amid scarce resources due to the pandemic.
The pandemic that caused the global economic crisis described as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s has so far infected more than 104 million people and claimed the lives of over 2.251 million.
Countries are still struggling to recover from the pandemic’s devastating economic impact which experts believe could take decades to rebuild. Faced with mounting debts, huge unemployment and poverty rates, most cash-strapped nations have yet to obtain COVID vaccines.
Under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai Airports, DP World and the International Humanitarian City will work together to distribute vaccines by air, land and sea.
Their combined expertise, along with strategic global air routes, sea ports and logistics networks, will speed up vaccine deployment, especially to developing nations.
The distribution will particularly focus on emerging markets, where populations have been hard-hit by the pandemic, and pharmaceutical transport and logistics are challenging.
The alliance is working with a broader set of stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders, government agencies and other entities for transportation of vaccines.
“We currently stand at the cusp of a historic moment with the rollout of vaccines for countering COVID-19, a pandemic that has disrupted the lives of people around the world. The UAE is leading the world in terms of rolling out the vaccine, and in line with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to facilitate a global solution for the wellbeing of communities, the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance brings together key organizations to expedite the worldwide transport of urgently needed vaccines through Dubai,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Home to the world’s largest humanitarian logistics hub
International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai will be a vital partner in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance bringing its vast expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid materials such as food and medicine in markets with limited infrastructure. IHC and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.
HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of International Humanitarian City, said: “Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, International Humanitarian City, based in Dubai, has evolved to become the largest humanitarian hub in the world, playing a pivotal role in facilitating first responses to humanitarian crises across the globe. Since the current global crisis began, the IHC has facilitated the distribution of over 80% of the WHO’s global medical response in the fight against COVID-19.”
“Dubai will make sure this fight continues with the Vaccine Logistics Alliance transporting urgently needed vaccines and medical supplies to the most vulnerable communities across the world, when they need it most. We are all responsible for doing what we can to end this pandemic.”
DP World: The global port & logistics powerhouse
DP World, a leader in global supply chain solutions with ports, terminals and logistics operations on every continent, is joining Dubai’s initiative to transport, store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
DP World logistics operations will facilitate the collection of vaccines from manufacturing sites in places like Europe, the US and India and deliver them to airports, seaports and dryports for onward transportation.
DP World’s global, GDP-compliant, network of warehousing and distribution hubs will be used to store vaccines for time and temperature sensitive distribution to hospitals and clinics. DP World will deploy its track-and-trace technology, such as Cargoes Flow, to give real-time information on the location of shipments, and continual temperature control and monitoring. DP World’s ports and terminals, including Jebel Ali in Dubai which is one the largest in the world, will be used to ship, store and distribute medical devices, such as syringes and wipes.
“Humanity will only defeat coronavirus if vaccines can be distributed everywhere. Dubai’s position as a global hub means we have a responsibility to combine our infrastructure and capabilities for this common goal. DP World has kept trade flowing throughout the pandemic ensuring countries received the vital supplies they need. We are proud to use our ports, terminals and smart logistics operations to distribute vaccines and medical devices to contribute to fighting the pandemic,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World.
Emirates SkyCargo, a global leader in the air transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, including vaccines, has over two decades of experience in transporting pharmaceuticals across the world and has developed extensive infrastructure and capabilities for the secure and rapid transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals.
“With our modern wide-body aircraft fleet, our network reaching more than 135 cities across six continents including major pharma hubs, and our expertise in handling pharma shipments, we are well placed to work with our partners in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance in order to make sure that the COVID-19 vaccines are reaching every corner of the globe, especially cities in emerging markets,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.
Emirates SkyCargo has over 15,000 square metres of cool chain space for pharmaceuticals across its terminals in Dubai and has already had a head start for COVID-19 vaccine logistics, having already moved COVID-19 vaccines on its flights during the month of December.
Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will be contributing to the efforts of the newly formed Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance by providing additional space at dedicated facilities at Dubai International (DXB).
“Dubai’s central location means it is easily accessible to almost 80% of the world’s population within just four hours, making the decision to join forces and develop the world’s preeminent distribution hub a very strategic one,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“Over the coming months, there will undoubtedly be a major surge in demand for the efficient, safe and reliable global distribution of high volumes of COVID-19 vaccines, and we wanted to be ready to respond to and accommodate that demand. This alliance is timed perfectly and will not only support a global need, but also support the future of travel.”