Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and partners well-prepared for coronavirus vaccine shipments

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More than sixty companies participating in the Vaccines Gateway Netherlands (VGN) task force have joined forces at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to enable safe, secure and swift transport of the corona vaccines from manufacturer to end-user, now that the vaccines have been approved by the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Besides Amsterdam Airport Schiphol itself, these sixty companies include Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, industry organisation Air Cargo Netherlands as well as cargo shippers, Dutch airports, airlines, forwarders, ground handlers, hauliers and general sales agents for cargo transported by international airlines. Other participants in the task force include service providers such as banks, insurance companies, educational institutions, consultancy firms, employment agencies and security companies.

Swift, safe and secure

VGN is fully committed to realising this essential task and ensuring high quality throughout the air cargo transport supply chain.

Together with the task force, Schiphol aims to be the European gateway for the handling and transport of the corona vaccines with maximum possible efficiency, safety, security and reliability. A major distribution network requires collaboration between stakeholders in the logistical chain in order to realise handling and delivery as rapidly as possible. Moreover we are together ensuring that the vaccines remain in prime condition, in line with the requirements. This is why we have worked through various scenarios and, as a result, have been able to formulate guidelines to ensure our preparedness for every possible situation.

Ferry van der Ent, Director Business Development Cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Fast lanes for vaccines

Now that VGN is up and running, it has quickly begun creating ‘fast lanes’ at Schiphol to facilitate the direct handling and delivery of the vaccines and to reduce the storage time at the airport to an absolute minimum. The vaccines will be handled as priority cargo by all parties.

The working group is also being supported by local authorities. Airport Customs is an active member of the group and aims to realise quick and smooth customs checks for the vaccines. Moreover, the group is actively cooperating with the Dutch Military Police which is assisting with security measures and procedures.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the second-largest cargo airport in Europe. Of all European airports, it also has the most direct connections, i.e. 332 to 92 countries.

28 December 2020

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