The newly-launched UAE-based public-private partnership, Hope Consortium has bolstered its distribution reach following a strategic agreement with leading international freight forwarders.

The latest consortium partners, which include Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel, will help address the different steps of the logistical challenge, including the ‘last mile’ challenge, with a capacity of billions of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

Between them, the four companies involved in the Hope Consortium cover 80 per cent of the world’s countries.

Spearheaded by the Department of Health — Abu Dhabi (DoH), the Hope Consortium appointed these global transport companies based on their expert abilities and reach to safely and effectively deliver vaccine doses under cold and ultra-cold conditions — temperature bands 2-8 degrees Celsius, -20 degrees Celsius and -80 degrees Celsius — between transportation hubs, warehouses, medical facilities and other final destinations in over 170 countries.

Supply chain solution players

Representing the top global and Abu Dhabi supply chain solution players, the Hope Consortium consists of Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports, Rafed — the health care purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, and Switzerland’s award-winning SkyCell, which develops next-generation, temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.

“The Hope Consortium’s success relies upon the collaboration of public sector entities and leading private sector companies across the global logistics supply chain. The addition of Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel provides solid support and expertise to address multiple challenges, including the ‘last mile’ vaccine distribution challenge. This partnership demonstrates the unrivalled global strength of Hope Consortium,” said Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, DoH undersecretary.

“The Abu Dhabi-backed Hope Consortium has quickly and effectively garnered the attention and support of the world’s leading logistics players. Today’s announcement is testament to the sector’s ambition to overcome the complex challenges inherent in transporting sensitive cargo of such scale across varying geographies around the world,” he added.

“The inclusion of leading freight forwarders will further strengthen the Hope Consortium proposition and elevate our global capabilities. Etihad Cargo’s strong existing partnerships with these entities, coupled with our experience in the shipment of temperature-sensitive cargo, will streamline our approach and add further confidence to a visionary collaboration. We are proud to be one of the first airlines to embark on a project of this scale,” said Martin Drew, senior vice president of sales and cargo at Etihad Aviation Group.

Company profiles

Agility is a global logistics company with operations in more than 100 countries. It is one of the world’s top freight forwarding and contract logistics providers, and a leader and investor in technology to enhance supply chain efficiency. Agility is a market-leader in emerging markets and one of the largest private owners and developers of warehousing and light industrial parks in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with more than three million square metres of warehousing and light industrial-facilities.

“As a strategic partner, Agility Abu Dhabi is committed to help drive Abu Dhabi’s growth vision. During the early months of COVID-19, Agility supported projects related to food security and medical equipment supply chain. Through the Hope Consortium, we look forward to utilising our global logistics footprint and warehousing network to make a difference on a global scale,” said Khadim Al Darei, chairman of Agility Abu Dhabi.

“SARS-CoV2 vaccine logistics will demand specialised handling expertise for pharma, cold-chain infrastructure and storage, an emerging markets footprint and the digital capabilities to manage advanced tracking and visibility — all areas Agility has made long-term investments in,” added Tarek Sultan, vice-chairman at Agility.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Aramex chairman, expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted by the wise leadership in combating the pandemic. “Aramex is proud to be a trusted partner playing a leading role in the worldwide distribution of vital SARS-CoV2 vaccines. Our global operating network puts us in a very strong position to be a reliable partner in the Hope Consortium,” he said.

“We are fully committed to this partnership and we look forward to working alongside our partners and contributing collectively to achieving the UAE’s aim to responsibly supply the vaccine globally,” said Bashar Obeid, Aramex chief executive officer.

German major

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, headquartered in Germany, has around 500 branches in more than 173 countries. “The pharma and health care industry has never been more important than it is today,” said Reiner Heiken, chief executive officer. “In the Middle East, Hellmann Healthcare Logistics gained a leadership position by operating a proven-and-tested hub concept for more than a decade, using UAE health care warehouses as distribution platforms for the region,” he added.

With over 78,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world’s leading logistics companies. “By joining Hope Consortium, we bring in the Kuehne+Nagel CEIV accredited global network of cool facilities, long-standing experience of large vaccine shipments and dedicated Pharma and Healthcare specialists that will ensure fast, safe and secure transportation,” said Robert Coyle, senior vice president for pharma and health care strategy at Kuehne+Nagel.


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