Swissport demonstrates COVID-19 vaccine handling readiness at Brussels facility

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In collaboration with Brussels Airport, Air Cargo Belgium and Hazgo, Swissport’s cargo team recently 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 its state-of-the-art 3,620 sq mt 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 -70° C, while the other shipment was transported in a more conventional 2-8° C temperature range. Swissport’s top-notch 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.

“Thanks to the successful and long-standing collaboration with our airport partners, Swissport is ready to play its part in the logistical challenge to globally distribute a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Koen Gouweloose, Head of Swissport Cargo Services Belgium. “We are ready.”

In preparation for the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Swissport has been putting facilities and processes to the test. The ground handler is busy establishing operational readiness for the handling of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines.

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

“We have been investing heavily in infrastructure and services for pharmaceutical air cargo over the past few years, which are exemplified by our state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Centres at multiple locations across the globe. We are very proud that Swissport is able to play a leading role in airport logistics for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Hendrik Leyssens, VP Global Operations – Cargo at Swissport.

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