With talks of Spicejet partnering with Snowman and Om logistics for a hassle-free COVID-19 vaccine delivery, the logistical hindrances on the way to delivering temperature-sensitive vaccines may soon be eliminated.
Budget carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said that it has partnered with Om Logistics and also signed a pact with Snowman Logistics, for the transportation of the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.
SpiceJet stated that the partnership with Om Logistics aims to provide a quick, seamless solution for COVID-19 vaccine movement as well as build a robust cold chain network both domestically and internationally.
The airline said that its dedicated freighters, operated under the SpiceXpress cargo division, are capable of transporting sensitive drugs and vaccines in controlled temperatures, both domestically as well as internationally.
This tie-up also is a sign that the stakeholders of the industry are coming forward without any involvement of the government.
“As a part of the association, Om Logistics Ltd will provide SpiceJet with the refrigerated trucks to cover the first mile and the last mile across the length and breadth of the country. SpiceJet will provide the necessary air support to carry COVID-19 vaccines pan-India and internationally in a temperature-controlled environment”, it said.
SpiceJet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Snowman for jointly engaging in storage, transportation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers across India and internationally in the required temperature-controlled zones, Snowman said in a statement.
As per their agreement, Snowman will take care of the ground services such as transportation to/from manufacturers, warehouses, airports and consumption points, packing, storage and warehousing in the required temperature zones while Spicejet will provide the air connectivity for temperature-controlled distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines domestically as well as internationally.
Arrangements for the vaccine
Owing to lack of clarity from the Centre on providing the logistics of vaccine distribution and delivery, vaccine-makers have started planning their own distribution network by engaging with cold chain logistics firms.
Sunil Nair, CEO, Snowman Logistics while talking about this said, “They are looking at where the cold storages and all those things and indications are that by January end, we should have some clarity on what is the volume and who is distributing where”, adding that the firm has put in place most of the operating process that the movement of the vaccine required.
The country at present has some 20,000 reefer containerised trucks of which an approximate 10-15 percent may be suitable for vaccine transportation if in the frozen temperature range. Cold chain companies have also added or are in the process of adding over 500 reffer trucks to combat the surge in the demand.
According to LogisticsNow, with proper planning and of an end-to-end supply chain, this capacity should suffice for vaccine distributuin.
“The strategy and approach for vaccinating various parts of the country and segments of the population might make this a far more complex supply chain, which could result in temporary shortages, while this supply-chain is set-up.”~Raj Saxena, Founder and CEO, LogisticsNow