Cathay Pacific Cargo has developed a gamut of solutions for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The quality-assured solutions facilitate the fast and effective import and transhipment of the vaccines worldwide.

Cathay Pacific director Cargo Tom Owen said, “With our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen.”

Ultra Track

Cathay Pacific Cargo is progressively rolling out Ultra Track as a key part of the vaccine solution. The next-generation track-and-trace system monitors information including temperature, GPS location, and humidity, using low-energy Bluetooth readers. This gives shippers and forwarders near real-time visibility, and ensures vaccines will remain within their transportation temperature ranges.

Operations Control Centre

In addition, shipments using Ultra Track will also be monitored by the newly established Operations Control Centre. Based in Hong Kong, and staffed by dedicated cargo professionals 24×7, the team can instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff to take proactive steps to ensure the various storage requirements of vaccines are maintained.

Owen added, “Ultra Track will allow forwarders to monitor the condition of their vaccine shipments in near real-time. It will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, and we will be offering the service free of charge for any COVID-19 vaccine shipments.”

CEIV Pharma accreditation

The combined approach follows on from an airport-wide recertification of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation (the internationally recognised quality-assurance scheme for pharmaceutical shipments) at Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Cargo, the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal managed by Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) and ground-handling subsidiary Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS) have all been re-certified, offering a complete level of quality assurance at every stage of the import and transhipment journey.

The terminal is 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. “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,” Owen said. “With the vaccine being so valuable and in such limited supply, it’s critical that we get it right at every stage of the journey. We are confident about meeting the challenge, and we stand ready to play our part,” he added.

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