Alibaba Holdings’ (NYSE:BABA) Cainiao has partnered with Ethiopian Airlines to introduce a cold chain for shipping temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines from China to other countries globally.
Cainiao partners with Ethiopian Airlines on cold chain logistics
Ethiopian Airlines will be leaving Shenzhen airport twice per week to other countries through Addis Ababa and Dubai. Alibaba says that Shenzhen hosts the first cross-border medical cold chain facility in china. The air freight will have cold chain cabins for the vaccines’ transport, and the cabins will have real-time temperature control systems. Interestingly the cargo terminal in Addis Ababa has been equipped with storage facilities that can maintain up to negative 23 degree Celsius to ensure smooth cold chain supply.
China has indicated that it will share its SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with countries that it has close ties. Although China is not yet ready for the vaccines’ international deployment, it is nevertheless putting infrastructure in place to facilitate mass distribution. A Cainiao spokesperson stated that once the vaccines are ready, they will have the capabilities to ship them across the world.
The Cainiao spokesperson added that the company is in discussions with coronavirus vaccine manufacturers in China as well as international organizations regarding partnerships on vaccine logistics. Cainiao stated that the shipments would be ferried globally within 72 hours.
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The Alibaba logistics company has grown to be a unicorn and reputable logistics firm that can deliver the shipment within a day to all regions. The partnership with Ethiopian Airlines will boost the company’s delivery capacity, and this saves countries, especially those in the African continent, with a vaccine. Currently, Cainiao has operations in over 200 countries, and it has International Air Transport Association approval to ferry COVID-19 vaccines that require storage at low temperatures.
James Zhao, Cainiao’s international supply chain general manager, said that the introduction of cold chain air freight had boosted the company’s global logistics capabilities. This allows Cainiao to offer a one-stop solution for distributing medical products, including coronavirus vaccines across the globe.