Zach Strickland and Anthony Smith lay out challenges COVID-19 vaccine distribution poses to the supply chain
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The big boom in container imports is forecast to last into spring of 2021, according to this report.
That boom has been supported by massive e-commerce sales, which are forecast to be 73% higher this season than the five-year average.
Vaccine logistics and cold-chain impacts
Smith and Strickland bring on Chris Wolfe, CEO of PowerFleet, to discuss how the private sector plans to handle distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wolfe says most pharmaceutical companies use third-party logistics providers to move their freight and the vaccine will be handled by relationships with those 3PLs.
COVID-19 vaccines can be expected to be moved mainly by plane, says Wolfe, due to the time-sensitive nature of the freight.
He also says temperature sensitivity plays a big role in moving the vaccine, with the Pfizer vaccine being the most difficult to move.
Wolfe highlights the specialized design of a dry-ice box for the Pfizer formula and says that may be the only big adjustment the supply chain needs to make.
“The supply chain already exists; it’s really handling the surge and the specialty, especially around the Pfizer vaccine,” says Wolfe, and he believes the other vaccines may just require extra monitoring around touch points and transfers during shipping.
Wolfe says expect some coordination by FEMA to orchestrate distribution efforts and a partnership to be formed between commercial carriers and the public sector.
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