DHL commissioned to manage COVID-19 vaccine logistics
In a recent announcement made by DHL, the company has been commissioned by the German federal state to manage the logistics for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to its federal structure, responsibility for vaccination management lies with the 16 individual states. The state of Lower Saxony has become one of the first German federal states to commission DHL Supply Chain to store and transport roughly 2.2mn doses of the new COVID-19 vaccines, as well as 350 pallets of vaccination equipment at two of the states certified Life Science Healthcare locations.
"A specialty of this contract is that the new mRNA vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer has to be stored at extremely low temperatures. Storage and distribution at -70 degrees Celsius present a challenge. Only a handful of logistics companies possess the cooling and transport capacity to accommodate such low temperature range. But in anticipation, we have invested early on to expand our deep freezer farms and cold storage facilities. This first contract with a German state government, to manage COVID-19 vaccines logistics in the State of Lower Saxony, highlights the decisive role that Deutsche Post DHL Group will play in fighting the Corona pandemic," commented Oscar de Bok, CEO DHL Supply Chain and Member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The vaccine doses will be picked and prepared for transport from its two locations, with plans to store the doses at different temperature ranges. In addition to having the capacity to store the vaccine at -70 degrees celsius, DHL also has cooling capacity to store at -20 degrees, two or eight degrees celsius.
"The preparations for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations represent a huge organizational challenge on many different levels. Therefore I'm delighted that the state government of Lower Saxony has signed a contract with DHL Supply Chain to put the entire vaccine logistics on a reliable and professional basis. The logistics are thus prepared. DHL will store both the vaccine supplies and the vaccines on our behalf and ensure that vaccination centers and hospitals across the state are supplied with the vaccines," added Dr. Carola Reimann (SPD), Minister of Health of the State of Lower Saxony.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.