Hope Consortium onboards Agility, Aramex, Hellmann, Kuehne+Nagel
December 18, 2020: The newly-launched Hope Consortium, a UAE-based public-private partnership to make Abu Dhabi the logistics hub for Covid-19 vaccine distribution, has bolstered its reach following an agreement with four international freight forwarders Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne+Nagel.
December 18, 2020: The newly-launched Hope Consortium, a UAE-based public-private partnership that aims to make Abu Dhabi the logistics hub for Covid-19 vaccine distribution, has bolstered its reach following an agreement with four international freight forwarders Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne+Nagel.
“This signing will be the first of many to come to ensure that no location is too far and no logistical challenge too difficult for the safe and effective delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses. The latest consortium partners will help address the different steps of the logistical challenge, including the last mile, with a capacity of billions of vaccine doses by the end of 2021,” said the release.
Between them, the four companies involved in the Hope Consortium cover 80 percent of the world’s countries and transported over four million tons of air freight cargo globally last year.
Spearheaded by the department of health – Abu Dhabi, the Hope Consortium appointed these global transport companies based on their expert abilities and reach to safely and effectively deliver vaccine doses under cold and ultra-cold conditions (temperature bands 2-8° C, -20° C and -80° C) between transportation hubs, warehouses, medical facilities and other final destinations in over 170 countries.
The Hope Consortium consists of Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports, Rafed – the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ and Switzerland’s SkyCell, which develops temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, undersecretary of the department of health – Abu Dhabi, said, “The Hope Consortium’s success relies upon the collaboration of public sector entities and leading private sector companies across the global logistics supply chain. The addition of Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel provides solid support and expertise to address multiple challenges, including the ‘last mile’ vaccine distribution challenge.”
Martin Drew, senior vice president sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “The inclusion of leading freight forwarders will further strengthen the Hope Consortium proposition and elevate our global capabilities. Etihad Cargo’s strong existing partnerships with these entities, coupled with our experience in the shipment of temperature-sensitive cargo, will streamline our approach and add further confidence to a visionary collaboration.”
Agility is a global logistics company with operations in more than 100 countries. It is one of the world’s top freight forwarding and contract logistics providers, and a leader and investor in technology to enhance supply chain efficiency. Agility is a market leader in emerging markets and one of the largest private owners and developers of warehousing and light industrial parks in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with more than 3 million square metres of warehousing and light industrial facilities.
H.E. Khadim Al Darei, chairman of Agility Abu Dhabi, said, “During the early months of COVID-19, Agility supported projects related to food security and medical equipment supply chain. Through the Hope Consortium, we look forward to utilizing our global logistics footprint and warehousing network to make a difference on a global scale.”
Tarek Sultan, Agility vice chairman, said, “SARS-CoV2 vaccine logistics will demand specialized handling expertise for pharma, cold-chain infrastructure and storage, an emerging markets footprint and the digital capabilities to manage advanced tracking and visibility – all areas Agility has made long-term investments in.”
Aramex is a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions. The company’s breadth of services, including international and domestic express delivery, freight forwarding, logistics and supply chain management, positions it as an important player offering innovative and technology-enabled logistics solutions for the healthcare sector.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chairman of Aramex, said, “Our global operating network across over 65 countries, expertise in providing logistics and transportation solution across the value chain - from laboratories to healthcare facility - and our state-of-the-art facilities - from the warehouse to van fleets - puts us in a very strong position to be a reliable partner in the Hope Consortium.”
Bashar Obeid, CEO of Aramex, said, “Aramex has the operational capabilities and expertise underpinned by technology-enabled infrastructure and skilled manpower to carry out this immense and crucial endeavour in an efficient and timely manner. Additionally, we have been investing to ramp up our last-mile infrastructure to include temperature-controlled warehouses and vehicles to ensure safe handling of pharmaceuticals including vaccines.”
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, headquartered in Germany, has a global network of around 500 branches in more than 173 countries. The full-service logistics provider has a 150-year history specializing in supply chain solutions for key industries, of which Healthcare Logistics is one of its leading vertical solutions.
Reiner Heiken, chief executive officer, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, said, “In the Middle East, Hellmann Healthcare Logistics gained a leadership position by operating a proven-and-tested hub concept for more than a decade, using UAE healthcare warehouses as distribution platforms for the region. Our specialized regional and global experience will be complementary to the strength of the Hope Consortium partners.”
With over 78,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world's leading logistics companies. In 2019, the company moved 4.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) by sea freight, 1.6 million tons by air freight, operated 32,500 truck departures a day in Europe and managed 11.4 million square metres of logistics and warehousing space.
Robert Coyle, senior vice president, pharma & healthcare strategy, at Kuehne+Nagel, noted, “By joining Hope Consortium, we bring in the Kuehne+Nagel CEIV accredited global network of cool facilities, long-standing experience of large vaccine shipments and dedicated Pharma and Healthcare specialists that will ensure fast, safe and secure transportation. We will leverage our unique strengths in the vaccine supply chain and facilitate vaccine availability across the world.”