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Swissport demonstrates handling of a Covid-19 vaccine 19 November 2020

Establishing operational readiness for the handling of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines

In preparation for the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, Swissport is putting its facilities and processes to the test. The Company’s cargo team in Brussels demonstrated its ability to handle temperature sensitive air cargo in a dry-run under real-conditions and under the eyes of experts and trade reporters at our state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Centre.

Swissport around the world is busy establishing operational readiness for the handling of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines. Vaccines and indeed many pharmaceuticals require rigorous temperature control throughout the entire supply chain. While some types Covid-19 vaccines might only call for temperatures around -20C or in a range from 2-8C, others will likely require extremely low temperatures in the range of -70C.

In collaboration with Brussels Airport, Air Cargo Belgium and Hazgo, Swissport demonstrated its ability to handle highly temperature-sensitive air cargo at its state-of-the-art 3,620 m2 Pharma Centre in Brussels. Two separate shipments were delivered to the facility, which is part of an end-to-end cool chain. One shipment arrived in a container cooled to -70C, while the other shipment was transported in a more conventional 2-8C temperature range. Swissport’s infrastructure, combined with know how regarding dry-ice handling allows for a seamless temperature-control throughout the entire airport handling process, from the acceptance at the cargo warehouse to the transport on the apron with special vehicles and right into the aircraft.

Of 115 cargo warehouses which Swissport runs around the globe, 72 are equipped with temperature-controlled facilities. At this time, 13 Swissport facilities are certified under the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma standard, the British MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and other recognised organisations.