Cargo handling major Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) is gearing up for what will be the air freight industry’s greatest ever challenge - the anticipated global transportation of some 16 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine, expected to begin in late 2020 and continue through 2021/2.
The company has launched what it calls ‘Project Coldstream’ to co-ordinate its response to what the International Air Transport Association (Iata) predicts will require the equivalent capacity of 8 000 747 aircraft.
Headed by taskforce leader Mike Duffy, Project Coldstream is working closely with airlines, forwarders and logistics providers, government agencies and industry organisations such as Pharma.Aero and The International Air Cargo Association (Tiaca) to clearly understand temperature and handling requirements. The group will be responsible for developing in-house solutions to the challenge, ensuring the preparedness of its pharma handling capability, devising plans for additional capacity where needed, and working closely with WFS airline customers.
WFS currently operates 12 dedicated pharma facilities in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Miami, New York JFK, and its €10 million state-of-the-art Pharma Centre at Paris CDG. These facilities are all either Iata CEIV or Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certified or compliant.
Countries and trading blocs have already ordered over 5 billion doses of Covid vaccine and already some 65 000 tonnes are forecast to require air cargo transportation, plus ancillary hardware and PPE which will be needed to administer it.