Cathay Pacific Cargo announced that it developed a vaccine solution specifically targeted for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the globe building on its many years of experience in transporting pharmaceutical shipments.


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The vaccine solution features “Ultra Track” — a track-and-trace system that monitors information including temperature, GPS location, and humidity, using low-energy Bluetooth readers.


Cathay said this gives shippers and forwarders near real-time visibility and ensures vaccines will remain within their transportation temperature ranges.


“Ultra Track will allow forwarders to monitor the condition of their vaccine shipments in near real-time. It will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, and we will be offering the service free of charge for any COVID-19 vaccine shipments,” said Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Tom Owen.


Shipments using Ultra Track will also be monitored by the newly established Operations Control Centre. Based in Hong Kong, and staffed by dedicated cargo professionals 24/7, the team can instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff to take proactive steps to ensure the various storage requirements of vaccines are maintained.


CEIV Pharma accreditation


The solution follows on from an airport-wide recertification of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation (the internationally recognised quality-assurance scheme for pharmaceutical shipments) at Hong Kong International Airport.


Cathay Pacific Cargo, the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal managed by Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) and ground-handling subsidiary Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS) have all been re-certified.


“With our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen,” Owen said.

More temp-controlled capacity


The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal is being expanded to offer more temperature-controlled capacity. While it is currently able to temporarily hold and transit 6.6 million doses of vaccine a day, there is more to come.

“We have just expanded so that it can handle more than seven million doses, and there will be more cold storage coming online soon. This new cold room storage will be able to handle a further 1.6 million doses,” Owen said.