Swissport demonstrates vaccine readiness at Brussels facility

By Rachelle Harry

Ahead of widespread distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, Swissport has demonstrated its readiness to handle “highly temperature-sensitive air cargo” at its Brussels Pharma Center.

Swissport carried out the demonstration, which was observed by experts and trade reporters, in collaboration with Brussels Airport, Air Cargo Belgium and specialist handler Hazgo.

The demonstration involved two separate shipments being delivered to the Brussels Pharma Center, which the company says is part of an end-to-end cool chain.

One shipment arrived in a container cooled to -70°C, while the other shipment was transported at a “more conventional” 2°-8°C temperature range.

The company said its “top-notch” infrastructure, as well as its knowledge in dry-ice handling helped it to maintain “seamless” temperature control throughout the entire handling process at the airport — from the cargo warehouse to the special transport vehicles on the apron.

“Vaccines and indeed many pharmaceuticals require rigorous temperature control throughout the entire supply chain,” Swissport informed. “While some types Covid-19 vaccines might only call for temperatures around -20°C or in a range from 2°-8°C, others will likely require extremely low temperatures in the range of -70°C.”

Koen Gouweloose, head of Swissport cargo services Belgium, said: “Today’s demonstration shows that, thanks to the successful and long-standing collaboration with our airport partners, Swissport is ready to play its part in the logistical challenge to globally distribute a Covid-19 vaccine.”

Hendrik Leyssens, vice president of global operations – cargo at Swissport, added: “We have been investing heavily in infrastructure and services for pharmaceutical air cargo over the past few years, which is exemplified by our state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Centers at multiple locations across the globe.”

Swissport has 115 cargo warehouses — 72 of which are equipped with temperature-controlled facilities.

In addition, 13 of its facilities, including the Brussels Pharma Center, are IATA CEIV Pharma- and British MHRA-certified.

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