Logistics and trucking companies like Titan Transline will play a key role in the mass distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States. These companies have the experience and equipment to ensure that the delivery of the fragile vaccine will be safe and secure during the critical legs of the rollout.
Logistics networks have temperature-controlled trucks that can deliver the vaccine rapidly to US hospitals, clinics, public health departments, and other sites where vaccination will be administered. Doses will be stored inside shipping boxes that will be packed with dry ice to reach the ultra-cold temperature required by the vaccine.
United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. will be delivering the vaccine by air and truck to states and territories. Commercial fleets that have the expertise to move pharmaceutical products are expected to assist on the first stage of the vaccine’s journey and last-mile delivery.
According to truck driver Bonnie Brewer, they started their task 36 hours after FDA authorized the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines. Bonnie and her husband, Mike Kirkhoff moved the first vaccine shipments from the Pfizer plant to the UPS facility in Lansing, Michigan. They used a truck with specialized temperature-controlled equipment.
When the couple arrived at the Pfizer facility, they had to go through security checks. Law enforcement escorted them to the 75-mile road to the UPS facility at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing. After 90 minutes they arrived at the facility and UPS took the trailer.
The initial shipment marked the beginning of a complicated logistics operation that includes hundreds of trucks with the capability of delivering tens of millions of vaccines to populations. Moving pharmaceutical products and vaccines with strict temperature requirements is a delicate task.
Aside from specialized temperature-validated service, carriers have sensors and other devices that can monitor conditions inside the trailer and record data that confirms that temperature remains within a certain range. Carriers usually have a team of two drivers who have gained expertise from working with pharmaceutical companies for years. When transporting the vaccine, the trucks have to keep moving and the valuable cargo is never left unattended. There is sufficient commercial transport capacity from the well-equipped logistics industry.