The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has launched an online platform to help pre-plan for the global logistics and related capacity requirements once Covid-19 vaccines become available.
The platform, ONE Source, would serve to tie all the digital strings together, providing the externally checked and verified information necessary for securing the logistics chain, sources said.
Iata’s global head of cargo, Glyn Hughes, said ONE Source would provide complete visibility of the capabilities and facilities across the supply chain.
The announcement comes in the wake of a stern warning issued earlier this week by Iata’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, that governments and global logistics concerns would have to ensure acute readiness once vaccines become available.
“Safely delivering Covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won’t happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now,” De Juniac said.
Underscoring their chief executive’s views, Iata said 8 000 Boeing 747 cargo planes would be required to deliver a single dose of a Covid vaccine to the world’s 7.8 billion people.
Confirming the news of the platform’s launch, the association said ONE Source was particularly timely amid the Covid-19 crisis when shippers of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals needed accurate information for time- and temperature-sensitive shipments.
“ONE Source lists the latest operational information on airlines, airports, cargo handling facilities, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers, and trucking companies. All critical information contained on ONE Source has been verified by Iata to help ensure its accuracy. Iata ONE Source is free for all service providers across the air cargo supply chain.”
Meanwhile news has been received that one of the major front-runners in the race to test, supply and distribute vaccines has received a major knock after a British woman became critically ill from an experimental dose of a Covid-19 strain she received.
The big pharma company behind the “Oxford coronavirus vaccine”, AstraZeneca, has nevertheless indicated that its jab may very well be available before Christmas.
Should that be the case, December may be a very busy month for global logistics, fraught with complexity and soaring demand challenges, as an already massively disrupted year goes out with a bigger bang on the back of a vaccine against the virus.