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Transport of the Covid-19 Vaccine

Article submitted by Liege Airport – TIACA Corporate Member and Gold Sponsor of the Digital Air Cargo Forum

Article written by: 

The efficient distribution of the vaccines is the most important challenge ever for our industry. At LGG, we have the infrastructure, and the flexibility to be ready when needed, even when demand spikes at very short notice. Pharma is one of our 5 products pillars since many years. Processes and infrastructure are in place. 

Belgium has a very prominent Pharma and Healthcare industry and will be at the forefront of Vaccine production. The processes for exports have been tested thoroughly, when LGG handled more than 100 cargo charters to fight Ebola in Africa. This time, there will be imports and transshipments as well, as there were and are for the PPE material. We are preparing for different scenarios, different requirements.

On airport, operators and handlers, forwarders and truckers and the authorities involved all have the know how and experience. LGG has been supporting handlers in acquiring the CEIV certification and all of them have cooling facilities in place. LGG also hosts a shared airline cold storage facility and is home to several active cool solution providers. We have scheduled services, by air and by road, from CEIV recognized operators, completing the chain. 

The preparations are not limited to the on airport facilities. We are mapping cold storage capacity in the vicinity of the airport.

Passenger terminal becomes Vaccine Logistics Center.

In cooperation with the Red Cross and local community and government, Liege Airport has opened a Covid Village in the terminal. It holds a testing center with a capacity of 25,000 people per month. 

In cooperation with public and private partners involved in the vaccine logistics chain we launched a Covid-safe coworking space called “Vaccine Logistics Center”. It allows monitoring & coordination of all Vaccine related shipments and operations at LGG, including a privileged access to airside operations. Scan Global Logistics, a service supplier to several major NGOs, is the launch customer. 

For export shipments, especially for big shipments and full charters, LGG is preparing for direct connectivity from truck to aircraft. With temporary permits for drivers and vehicles,  refrigerated trucks can line up airside for direct truck to aircraft connections. Safety and security remains key. The administration and procedures will take place in the Vaccine Logistics center. 

The greatest challenge will be to manage peak capacity. The only way to make this happen is through cooperation, on a local and global level.