Charter plane for vaccine shipment to Brazilian Government

Collaboration secures Government-ordered
vaccine deliveries

28 August 2020

Three successful vaccine shipments sent from a manufacturer in Italy to the Brazilian Government amid the pandemic have set out a road map to safely drive a global Covid-19 vaccine distribution, and the guiding compass has been a strategic industry collaboration and powerful hybrid technology. The collaboration between Lufthansa, Cargolux, DHL and SkyCell’s hybrid service mark a turning point in the pharma industry that could lead to greater safety and sustainability for delivering medicine to patients around the world, even in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first charter plane took off from Frankfurt with 4 million Meningitis C vaccine doses, ready to travel towards Belo Horizonte, where they were to be received for Brazil’s National Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health for the vaccination of children. After a shortage of vaccinations due to the pandemic’s lockdown of air travel, this was a delivery with no room for failure. Thanks to the long independent run time of SkyCell’s hybrid pharmaceutical containers, there was no need to find plug sockets or seek storage in a cool room to maintain the right temperature for the vaccines. In total, 62 of SkyCell’s 2500C and 1500C hybrid containers carried 123 pallets of this temperature-sensitive medicine, and the joint efforts between Lufthansa, DHL and SkyCell led to the medicine arriving fully-functioning and ready for use in Brazil.

After the great triumph of the first delivery, Cargolux and DHL coordinated a second delivery 3.3 million doses of vaccines between Milan and Belo Horizonte. This operation was supported by SkyCell Transport Planner, which simulates shipment scenarios and enables us to have a proactive approach prior to shipping pharmaceutical products. After the optimal route for the 65 SkyCell containers was found, the 127 pallets of vaccines were safely delivered.

Cargolux & SkyCell Containers Shipment ready for their shipment to Brazil

2500C SkyCell Containers in the Cargolux plane awaiting the vaccine delivery to Brazilian Government.

Following the smooth deployment of the hybrid hardware for two consecutive vaccine deliveries, operating with zero temperature excursions, the vaccine manufactured decided to operate a third charter with 65 SkyCell containers to safeguard the vaccines. The number of doses transported to Brazil have now reached 8.8 million doses.

DHL Italy’s Head of Airfreight, Carlo De Ruvo, stated, “The present sanitary emergency has challenged the air transportation to and from many destinations. In these difficult times, DHL Global Forwarding continues to work on the right solutions for our customers, every single day, for any industrial sector. For the Life & Sciences sector, we build on new technologies and solutions, with all our competence, without any disruption for our customers supply chain.”

The decision to transport the vaccines with SkyCell’s hybrid containers for these shipments has meant patients received their essential medicine while reducing the impact on our environment. The hybrid’s lightweight hardware, combined with the fact it can self-charge without the need for an external power source, saves up to 50% of CO2, according to an intensive audit by myClimate. Overall, these three shipments saved close to 4.1 million kg of CO2.

SkyCell’s Director of Business Development & Airline Partnership, Chiara Venuti said, “SkyCell is proud to have so far secured the safe delivery of more than eight million Meningitis C vaccines during these challenging conditions to the Brazilian market, doing right by both our patients and the planet.”

Through collaboration with partners, and the deployment of a safe and sustainable delivery solution, we have begun the development of a sustainable model for the distribution of future Covid-19 vaccines and, in the meantime, we have saved many lives by delivering millions of fully-functioning and vital vaccinations.