Brussels Airport is ready to receive and ship the first COVID-19 vaccines. A taskforce at Brucargo, the cargo division of the airport, is working full force on preparing scenarios for the import and export of the various types of vaccines in a safe and efficient way.
“As Europe’s preferred airport for the transport of temperature-sensitive products, Brussels Airport has been investing for over 10 years in a range of services and products tailored to the needs of the pharmaceutical sector, one of the country’s key industries. We have, together with our community partner Air Cargo Belgium, set up the Taskforce BRUcure especially for the COVID-19 vaccine so that we can guarantee, in partnership with the major vaccine manufacturers, reliable and rapid transport at our airport”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
Brussels Airport not only has the largest number of pharma-certified companies under the IATA CEIV1 programme on the cargo site. With 30,000m² of temperature-controlled areas, it also has the largest number of m² in Europa in first and second-line access to the tarmac to provide refrigerated storage of pharmaceutical products
With its digital data-sharing platform BRUcloud, Brussels Airport wants to make it possible to track temperature-sensitive shipment in real time and monitor temperatures at any moment in the transport chain.
Still many unknown parameters, every scenario mapped out
The Taskforce BRUcure is mapping out all scenarios for the various types of vaccines in close consultation with the pharmaceutical companies with which Brussels Airport works. Each type of vaccine demands a different form of transport, packaging and storage. Some vaccines, for example, have to be shipped on dry ice, while others will demand refrigeration at the customary 2-8 degrees Celsius.
In addition, the manufacturing location of the vaccines, the number of doses per person, the volume that a cargo pallet with vaccines will occupy taking into account the packaging, and so on, are mapped out in different scenarios, in order to quickly respond once a vaccine is available.
Geert Keirens of Air Cargo Belgium: “The COVID-19 vaccine story yet again shows the strength of Brucargo. Thanks to the community’s extensive experience in transporting vaccines, in particular the Ebola vaccine on dry ice, and the long-standing collaboration, our cargo community can offer a robust logistics platform for importing and exporting all types of COVID-19 vaccines, at the service of public health. In addition, ACB, thanks to a partnership with the province of Flemish Brabant, is focusing on a community control tower function, whereby COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be continuously monitored at Brucargo.”