The Vaccine Distribution Game: DHL Flies Batches to Israel

By Oliver Freeman
DHL has announced that further flights to various countries are scheduled across the Christmas period and into the New Year...

DHL has joined in the international distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, firstly by flying shipments to Israel. The first DHL Express aircraft touched down at the Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv last Wednesday morning and was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. DHL Global Forwarding, the international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, also dedicated a charter flight for additional supplies of vaccine doses, which arrived at the Ben-Gurion airport on December 10, at 3.00 PM local time.

The Cold Chain Challenge

Travis Cobb, Head of Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express, said: "After numerous months of preparation we are happy that our mission of vaccine distribution has now started and we could contribute our logistics expertise and capabilities to make vaccine accessible worldwide. The current crisis has shown how indispensable international logistics networks are for ensuring that societies have the necessary personal protective equipment and test kits to secure their health. Now we are embarking on the next step in our common fight against the coronavirus. Our teams of cross-border Express logistics are ready - to deliver any time and anywhere."

  • DHL has 9,000 specialists and a logistics network spanning 220 countries
  • Vaccines usually take between 5-20 years to develop
  • DHL boasts over 260 of owned aircraft to meet the challenge

In addition to the first flights to Israel, DHL is preparing to carry out further flights in December and beyond with vaccines from its worldwide operating hubs. More than 9,000 specialists work across DHL's dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalization, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between.

Stepping Up

Thomas Mack, Head of Global Airfreight, DHL Global Forwarding, said: "The development of a Coronavirus vaccine is a silver lining and we are proud to play an active role as the most global logistics provider in bringing this silver lining to people. With our extensive logistics expertise in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector paired with the commitment and passion of our people, we want to play our part in making the Corona pandemic history. That's the purpose of Deutsche Post DHL Group - connecting people and improving lives.”

With an aircraft fleet of more than 260 dedicated planes, numerous partner airlines and a hub and gateway network spanning more than 220 countries and territories DHL is optimally equipped and prepared for a worldwide supply of COVID-19 vaccines. On a global scale logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chains rapidly to deliver vaccines of an unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide - also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where more than 3 billion people live. To provide global coverage of the next two years, up to 200k pallet shippers and 15m cooling boxes, as well as 15k flights, will be required across the various supply chain set-ups. With vaccines historically developed over a timeline of 5~20 years, the accelerated process of COVID-19 within one year is unprecedented. 


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