Abu Dhabi launches ‘The Hope’ Consortium for global vaccine distribution

Amid the anticipated surge for the logistics of the COVID vaccine, Abu Dhabi has launched The Hope Consortium – a complete supply chain solution to address vaccine transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, digital technology infrastructure. The consortium aims to facilitate vaccine availability and distribution across the world. to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the world.

The consortium includes Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Rafed (the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ), and Switzerland-based SkyCell, which develops next-generation, temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.

As part of The Hope Consortium, SkyCell will establish a regional service and manufacturing centre in Abu Dhabi. 

The Hope Consortium has pooled its collective expertise to garner a multi-faceted capability to provide logistics services to handle over six billion doses from the vaccines being developed and manufactured around the world – whether in single or multi doses – in cold and ultra-cold conditions in 2021, rising to over three times more doses by the end of next year – the largest capacity and logistics capability regionally and one of the largest globally.

The Hope Consortium is a prime example of how Abu Dhabi is leading in providing solutions, capabilities and capacities to help the world get through this global pandemic. It is a continuation of all players’ collaboration of a UAE-based public-private partnership that spans the globe. While assuring vaccine supply to the domestic market, the Hope Consortium will offer international governments, non-governmental organisations, and vaccine suppliers a cohesive solution across every supply chain step – from air freight, regional storage and temperature monitoring, to inventory management, cold and ultra-cold container solution, regulatory clearance, and healthcare and pharma quality assurance.”

~ HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi

Further adding he said, “Developing a vaccine is only the first step in getting to a solution, getting that vaccine to the whole globe, while maintaining robust integrity of temperature is an equal challenge by itself. The Hope Consortium will provide that solution on the highest level of quality. 

“Consortium partners already have extensive expertise in the global delivery of millions of COVID-19 related items, such as personal protective equipment, diagnostics consumables, vaccines and pharmaceuticals. As we progress talks with vaccine manufacturers to apprise them of our global distribution capabilities, the Hope Consortium will harness the united expertise of various Abu Dhabi and UAE stakeholders to provide a fully-fledged, end-to-end solution specifically for COVID vaccine distribution needs.”

Also Read: How much air cargo is required for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution?

Distribution of the vaccines, which will be stored in Abu Dhabi Ports Company facilities, will be carried out by Etihad Cargo, the first Middle Eastern carrier to gain IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics. The UAE’s national carrier will leverage its extensive intercontinental network, fleet and charter flights to supply vaccines globally.

As part of the Hope Consortium, Abu Dhabi Ports, which has the Middle East’s largest capacities for cold chain and ultra-cold storage, will leverage its capabilities as an innovation epicentre serving the Middle East and wider world through Abu Dhabi as a supply chain gateway connecting East and West.

This collaboration is in line with our ethos of creating innovative ideas, concepts, solutions and opportunities. Abu Dhabi Ports plays a key role in supporting the Abu Dhabi vision in advancing logistic services in the emirate and leading the post-COVID-19 revival and economic recovery through robust partnerships. Our expansive operations at KIZAD are among the largest cold chain and ultra-cold storing in the region and enable us to support the emirate’s drive to spearhead global immunisation efforts that will positively impact millions of lives.”

~ Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports

“In addition to leveraging our world-class trade facilitation expertise, our efforts also rest on our Maqta Gateway subsidiary, which is playing a leading role in the development of integrated, digital, global commerce,” he added.

The Hope Consortium intends to transport the vaccines using SkyCell’s hybrid containers. The storage and transportation containers are secured through an IoT monitoring service which tracks temperature conditions to ensure sensitive vaccines are protected even under extreme conditions.

With efficient insulation and cutting-edge cooling technology, the containers maintain steady temperatures for an average of 202 hours (8.4 days) and self-recharge automatically in a cooling chamber or reefer truck.

The Consortium will also be looking to partner with players and stakeholders to improve its offering and innovative solution for the benefit of humanity.

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