AFKLMP creates COVID-19 vaccine shipment taskforce

Published by Nick Barrowclough on

air France KLM Martin air tails

AFKLMP logistics are creating a taskforce to address the shipment issues associated with distributing billions of COVID-19 vaccine doses. As we discussed in a previous article, there will be many challenges ahead for the cold chain and pharmaceutical logistics industry once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) has worked closely with the pharma industry and freight forwarders to assess the specific requirements for the shipping of COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. There will be many challenges to distribute several billion doses worldwide, under cold chain conditions, a challenge the current world logistics industry is not ready to meet.

AFKLMP Cargo is ready to play a key role in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, thereby helping to ensure that as many people as possible around the globe will have access to vaccines in these challenging times.

Enrica Calonghi, global head of pharmaceutical logistics at the AFKLMP

Since the start of the crisis AFKLMP, have progressively rebuilt their network targetted mainly at relief-related shipments. On a monthly basis they have been adding new destinations and flights to their network, mainly operating on a cargo-only basis.

Shipping pharma and other medical-related goods is one of our core activities and a strategic priority. From the start, we prioritised pharma commercially and operationally. At AFKLMP Cargo, we have a department that is fully dedicated to pharma and healthcare solutions. With this in mind, Air France and KLM were among the first airlines to obtain IATA CEIV certification.

GertJan Roelands, senior vice president of sales and distribution at AFKLMP

As worldwide commercial passenger flights have been limited many airlines have turned to freight carriage, converting their passenger aircraft for cargo charter purposes. Since the start of the pandemic, AFKLMP have operated more than 5,500 cargo-only flights.

AFKLMP Cargo currently offers a network spanning more than 95 long-haul destinations. 

In recent years AFKLMP has continuously improved their pharma and healthcare-related services by improving processes, training staff and forming dedicated service teams for pharma customers.

There has been investment in infrastructure at both AFKLMP hubs, Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).

A spokesperson for the airline said: “Because we realise how important it is to guarantee the required quality, reliability and connectivity throughout supply chains, we not only offer all required infrastructure and capabilities at our CDG and AMS hubs but also have partnerships with GHAs at all relevant pharma destinations, providing state-of-the-art pharma handling services.

“Our investment in pharma logistics is paying off and our share in the pharma segment has grown significantly in recent years and months.”


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