The dedicated facility at Abu Dhabi Ports will help the region gear up to distribute Covid-19 vaccines © Abu Dhabi Ports
The dedicated facility at Abu Dhabi Ports will help the region gear up to distribute Covid-19 vaccines © Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports unveils cold store to distribute 70m vaccines

1 December 2020

Abu Dhabi Ports has said it is playing a “vital role” in the global fight against Covid-19 as it launches “enhanced logistics capabilities” for the storage and distribution of more than 70m vaccines.

Abu Dhabi Ports said it had dedicated a 19,000 sq metre temperature-controlled warehouse facility in Khalifa Industrial Zone as the world prepares for a surge in vaccine logistics demand.

The facility has the capability to store vaccines and other pharmaceutical products at a range of 2C to 8C, as well as down to -80C. The facility is equipped with temperature and humidity systems. 

Abu Dhabi Ports is part of the Hope Consortium, a UAE-based public-private partnership led by the Department of Health, that will facilitate the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines across the world.

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, group CEO at Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “As our nation’s key strategic logistics enabler, we have invested in one of the region’s largest and most expansive logistics capabilities. This makes us uniquely positioned to support our government’s vision and facilitate the immunisation efforts to positively impact millions of lives. Abu Dhabi Ports is ready to play a leading role in the end-to-end supply chain including storing, processing, and distributing this extremely sensitive product.”

Dr Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, said: “Abu Dhabi continues to play a vital role within the global effort to discover a vaccine for Covid-19. And as part of those efforts, we are providing logistical capabilities that will position the UAE as a distinguished local, regional, and global distribution hub.

“At the Department of Health, we have aligned our vaccine storage processes with the best international practices governing the long-term storage of pharmaceutical products, which will ensure the efficiency of vaccines. Such a robust solution was necessary because the vaccines are composed of genetic and protein ingredients and must be stored in optimal temperatures for the longest possible period to ensure their effectiveness when finally used.”

Robert Sutton, head of logistics cluster at Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Abu Dhabi Ports’ ability in expanding capacity to receive and store clinical, pharmaceutical and life science materials at moderate and extreme temperature ranges is a testament to our commitment to offer world-class logistics solutions.

“Our Department of Health-licenced facility fully integrates the movement of cargo with state-of-the-art temperature, humidity, and refrigeration-controlled technology. Abu Dhabi Ports, through our highly-advanced infrastructure and multimodal connectivity, is ready and able to meet the challenges of distributing sensitive pharmaceuticals quickly across the supply chain.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Logistics Company (SAL) launched new pharma and perishable facilities in Riyadh, which will be able to manage 365,000 tons of cargo a year. 

The new facilities have four docks for loading refrigerated containers and 12 warehouses with temperatures ranging from -20C to 25C.

SAL has also partnered with Saudi Customs and Saudi Food and Drug Authority to make clearance of shipments “easier and faster”.

Omar Hariri, CEO of SAL, said: “The launch of the Riyadh Cold Storage facilities comes at a historic moment that coincides with the world’s anticipation for the delivery of the Covid vaccine. This urgency makes us harness the capabilities of the operational capacity of our pharmaceutical facility and be fully prepared to receive and handle the new vaccines in coordination with the health authorities.”

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