On March 26th, 2021, EFL Global, a leader in supply chain solutions, partnered with Cathay Pacific Cargo, a leading global air freight operator to transport a COVID-19 vaccine shipment out of Hyderabad, India. The shipment was uplifted from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to Paraguay via Miami International Airport. The shipment included 10,000 vials with a total of 100,000 vaccine doses, successfully delivered through the airline’s fleet B773ER, a cargo-only passenger flight from Hyderabad to Hong Kong.
This was followed by a quick transfer onto Cathay Pacific Cargo freighter B747-8F from Hong Kong to Miami. EFL Global’s Miami operations serve as a critical gateway to Latin America, offering direct air freight solutions to final destinations across the entire region.
The vaccine shipments were assigned a unique handling code “VAC” that denotes a special SOP used for handling and notifying all concerned teams at origin, transit, and destination. This protocol ensures that vaccines are stored within the required consistent temperature ranges of 2-8 degrees Celsius from acceptance to delivery. Crucial steps such as the late release of the shipment from warehouse to airside at origin and an early release from aircraft to warehouse at the destination are taken to minimize exposure and temperature fluctuations. Additionally, priority towing at ramp for all flights was provided to avoid exposure to external conditions.
Senthilnathan Shanmugam, CEO and Managing Director for EFL Global’s India operations, said, “EFL offers a unique hub and spoke solution through its strategic global reach and capabilities, that are in line and supportive of inoculation efforts across continents and geographies. With an extensive network in the Indian Subcontinent, pharma vertical experience, expanding reach across the Americas through key gateways like EFL Miami, and key partnerships with the likes of Cathay Pacific Cargo, we stand committed towards a global recovery.”
Mark Sutch, Regional General Manager - South Asia, Middle East and Africa of Cathay Pacific, said, “Cathay Pacific Cargo has been serving the Indian market with a robust network and strong product offering and we are happy to be able to support vaccine delivery during this crucial time. Our ‘Vaccine Task Force’ is well equipped to handle the shipments with utmost care they require, and we are sure the success of this delivery will open many new avenues.”
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