The Cool Chain Association (CCA) has launched a COVID-19 Distribution Change Management Matrix aimed at supporting airports to prepare their logistics for COVID-19 vaccines in a methodical way. The matrix looks at adherence to temperature requirements, packaging, forecast and quantity, and timeframe across different stages in a vaccine’s journey through an airport.
CCA will share the Matrix with members for them to complete and then bring together the information to help the supply chain to focus on potential pinch points, training needs, safety and security, as well as supplier and risk management, and quality. The Matrix also incorporates sections on facilities, and warehouse, and ramp operations.
“CCA members can share vital information, which, once consolidated, will provide a useful resource as the industry prepares in the best way we can for the distribution of the vaccines,” said Nicola Caristo, Secretary General of the CCA and Airline Partner Manager at SkyCell. “We are not aiming to suddenly find an end-to-end solution, but focussing on airports, where we know there are potential bottlenecks and where we can use the vast knowledge in our network to help establish workable guidelines,” he added.
The scheme was unveiled during CCA’s recent COVID-19 taskforce workshop, where the focus was also placed on the need for both shippers and legislators to play their part.
“It will be essential to have the buy-in from customs and other legislators,” said CCA Board Member Fabrizio Iacobacci, Head of Pharma Business Development at Bcube Air Cargo. “But we should also look at encouraging shippers to be involved and start investing in signing up for Known Shipper status wherever possible to help speed up the process,” he added.
Guest speaker Ruud van der Geer, Assistant Director- Global Delivery Strategy Team at MSD said the pharma industry was working to be as prepared as possible in volatile times. He said, “The biggest challenge is that we have to develop a network, but there are still so many unknowns, from the required shipping temperature to where it will be manufactured and delivered, and the overall manufacturing capacity.”
“We have to build something scalable and sustainable, sustainable because we have other products in our portfolio, and we have to make sure this doesn’t impact access to existing medication. We need a standardised solution, there is no benefit to everyone coming up with their own supply chain solution, that means we need to stay connected and keep talking,” he added.
Workshop members also heard from new CCA Member Stefan Braun, Managing Director of SmartCAE, a software platform for the simulation of temperature controlled logistics called the Virtual Cold Chain.
Braun demonstrated a case study on how the Virtual Cool Chain could help plan a robust distribution of COVID vaccines needing to travel at -700 C. “The idea is to connect all of the different stakeholders, from packaging companies to the pharma companies, to put the data together so that we can determine what the optimal packaging is and the optimal service on the lane to deliver with minimum risk and in the most cost-efficient way, To do this virtually takes minutes, versus hours for an actual journey,” he concluded