Dubai launches Covid-19 vaccine logistics alliance

By Damian Brett

Dubai has launched a logistics alliance that aims to speed up distribution of Covid-19 vaccines around the world through the emirate.

The Dubai Vaccines Logistics Alliance said it would combine Emirates SkyCargo’s air network with DP World’s worldwide network of ports and logistics operations, along with the infrastructure of Dubai Airports and International Humanitarian City (IHC) to distribute vaccines worldwide.

The alliance is also working with a broader set of stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders, government agencies and other entities for transportation of vaccines.

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “Each alliance partner brings to the table a specific and complementary set of strengths and capabilities in vaccine distribution, allowing us to build a 360-degree solution that harnesses the combined logistical and infrastructural advantages of Dubai as a hub.

“Together, we are able to store a large volume of vaccine doses at a time and bring in and distribute vaccines to any point around the world within 48 hours.”

In a press release, the group outlined what each partner would bring to the alliance.

IHC, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai, will offer expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid materials such as food and medicine in markets with limited infrastructure.

IHC and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.

DP World’s logistics operations will facilitate the collection of vaccines from manufacturing sites in places like Europe, the US and India and deliver them to airports, seaports and dryports for onward transportation.

DP World and UNICEF have also announced a partnership to support the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries. 

Emirates SkyCargo has over 15,000 sq m of cool chain space for pharmaceuticals across its terminals in Dubai and started transporting Covid-19 vaccines on its flights during December.

Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will be contributing to the efforts of the newly formed Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance by providing additional space at dedicated facilities at Dubai International (DXB). The repurposed cargo facilities will act as storage for vaccines.

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