The world population is tensely awaiting the successful development of a vaccine against the Coronavirus. To achieve this, the worldwide pharmaceutical industry is investing every effort to deliver the vaccine as soon as possible. Currently, 40 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in humans – and the number is rising. A further increasingly important challenge will be the global distribution of the vaccine, which will probably have to be transported at a constant -70 °C for many days. va-Q-tec is preparing intensively for this task since April 2020.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company has been supporting the fight against the virus and is an elementary component of the international logistics chain in its context. Millions of test kits have already been shipped worldwide in va-Q-tec’s high-tech transport solutions. During this time, the company was able to gain valuable knowledge in how to distribute vaccines worldwide. The drastically reduced air freight capacities due to the Corona restrictions are a great challenge, especially for pharmaceutical logistics. Many products, such as drugs or test kits, must be transported with absolute reliability at temperatures as low as -70 °C to guarantee their effectiveness. Until now, this temperature range has only been demanded very little in the thermal logistics industry, particularly with the contingents that are now required.
The passive high-performance containers and boxes, “Made in Germany”, are ideal for transports of this kind. Thanks to their highly developed product properties, they maintain temperatures over 200 hours. Even in extreme or fluctuating outside temperatures, there is no need for external energy supplies such as refrigeration units which is made possible by the intelligent combination of two high-tech components. The transport containers are insulated with vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) that protect the valuable cargo. Temperature storage elements (Phase Change Materials – “PCMs”) simultaneously ensure that the temperature inside remains constant. Thus, when using va-Q-tec’s safe logistics solutions, dry ice can be avoided in many cases even at very low temperatures over long transport times.
In the next weeks and months, the existing fleet will be increased by several hundred containers – further growth is planned. This is made possible by the fully integrated value chain or the in-house production of core components. In order to ensure the availability and high quality standards of the containers also in the case of vaccine distribution, additional investments will be made in the technical infrastructure of the worldwide TempChain network and the global establishment of further stations. Currently, in almost 40 global stations, the high-performance containers are tested in detail for their optimal functionality. The technology used for this purpose is unique and a necessary prerequisite for the safety of the goods to be transported. Furthermore, the containers are preconditioned in the TempChain Service Centers for the requirements of the respective cargo. International temperature-controlled supply chains are thus ensured.
va-Q-tec wants to solve the mammoth task of worldwide vaccine distribution together with its clients and partners by joining forces in the best possible way. With va-Q-tec’s special focus on low temperature ranges, the company is well prepared and will play a special role in this process.