Budget carrier SpiceJet’s cargo division SpiceXpress, and India-based transportation and warehousing service provider, Om logistics have teamed up to build and strengthen its capabilities to transport temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines.
The partnership aims to provide a ‘speedy, seamless and reliable solution’ for the movement of COVID-19 vaccines and ‘create a sustainable cold chain network’ – both in India and internationally.
Exclusively speaking to CARGOCONNECT on the development, Sanjiv Gupta, CEO, SpiceJet Cargo said, “Firstly, we are ready for the ‘enormous task’ of distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Secondly, talking about the partnership, SpiceXpress will look to providing its airfreight resources while Om Logistics will leverage its refrigerated fleet to handle the first and the last-mile transportation of the vaccines journey.”
“The vaccine moment is going to place a humongous stress and therefore we need seamless end-to-end distribution services at place. The partnership will enable us to use dedicated equipment and systems across our networks for ‘seamless cold chain operations’. Om Logistics’ international presence with its 1,200 partner offices worldwide, and domestic ability to cater to more than 19,000 pin codes with support of 700+ offices across India will further boost SpiceJet’s strength. It is an excellent combination, we can go as one stop shop to all our clients and say we are ready to transport your vaccine,” Gupta said.
“SpiceXpress operates a fleet of 17 freighter aircraft (many of them pax-freighters) across 54 domestic and 45 international destinations. We have freighters for international as well as special aircrafts to serve tier II and tier III cities in the domestic market. We have got world-class cold chain infrastructure. We are training our staff; we are in touch with various clients, forwarders, and airports to ensure end-to-end seamless chain. We also have a specific product called ‘Spice Pharma Pro’ under which shipments can be effectively handled in required temperatures ranging between -400C to + 25 0C. This new specialised service is dedicated to transporting COVID-19 vaccine, medicines and temperature-sensitive cargo, as well as others critical shipments. We have also teamed up with other cold chain solution businesses like Snowman for active and passive packaging,” Gupta added.
Speaking to CARGOCONNECT, Akash Bansal, Head- Logistics, Om Logistics expressed, “We will adequately take care of the first and last-mile delivery of vaccine shipments. Practically speaking, we are always proactive. I am hopeful that in the next three months, the vaccine will be on the rack, so rather than waiting for it to be launched, we are getting prepared for its distribution much more earlier. We majorly see it as more of a domestic drill for us. We are focussed on Indian manufacturers like Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech, Dr. Reddy’s, Zydus Cadila, etc.”
“It will be a multimodal activity; we need multimodal connections so that the medicine reaches final point of consumption from the manufacturing location at the required stable temperatures. We are creating a model wherein we will have reefer trucks with advanced technology deployed at any given time for both first-mile and last mile delivery. For air support, as you know, we have partnered with SpiceXpress so that the material is flown on time and securely. We wanted to be ready before the launch and be in a position to take over the task with this model,” Bansal added. “The challenge, however will be in last-mile delivery, but I am hopeful that will be taken care of by the government.”