The extra mile: preparing a supply chain for a Covid-19 vaccine

COVID-19 has placed huge stress on the global population, both emotionally and financially. In the UK alone, official figures suggest we are approaching 50,000 deaths1 as a result of the virus. Dealing with such a tragic loss of life has been difficult for individuals and governments alike.

To effectively deal with COVID-19, much hope has been placed on creating a vaccine, which could significantly slow the spread of the virus. On average, it takes more than 10 years to bring a vaccine to the international market. However, during the times of desperate need we find ourselves in now, the process can be accelerated to a matter of months.2 In the UK, there have been suggestions that a vaccine could be ready for 30 million Britons by September.3

However, while the creation of a vaccine will clearly be momentous, it is not the final step. While AstraZeneca says it will be able to supply two billion doses4 of the vaccine when it is ready, providing a vaccine both nationally and internationally presents a whole other challenge in itself. It is, however, a challenge we can prepare for.

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Source: EPR

CBP makes it easier for shippers to obtain manifest data confidentiality

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says its new automated tool allows importers and exporters to apply and receive approval for their vessel manifest confidentiality requests from the agency within 24 hours.

Before CBP deployed the new online application, shippers had to submit their confidentiality requests to keep their names and addresses off the public manifest record to the agency by mail, fax or email, which often required the agency 60 to 90 days to process.

In addition, CBP said the new online confidentiality application for manifests allows companies and individuals to input all applicable name variations as part of their request. “This will enhance the requesting party’s ability to ensure that a name provided matches the name entered electronically in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE),” the agency said.

CBP’s vessel manifest data, which is compiled daily, is available to the public for purchase and supplied on CD-ROMs. These CD-ROMs are available for specific days or on a subscription basis. Those importers or exporters that have requested confidential treatment of their shipment data in the manifests are not included.

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Source: American Shipper

China e-commerce boom fuels flurry of new charter flights and freighter routes

China’s cross-border e-commerce volumes are surging, prompting new charter flights and freighter routes to keep up with demand.

Alibaba’s logistics unit, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, said this week it would increase its charter flights to 1,260 over the next nine months.

It chartered 200 flights during March and April, an increase from an average 100 to around 140 flights a month.

Cainiao said the additional flights would allow it to halve its average international airfreight delivery time to three-to-five days – in 2015, it said the “ultimate goal” was to deliver internationally in 72 hours.

In March, a new five-flights-a-week charter service was launched from Cainiao’s home base of Hangzhou to Kuala Lumpur, while other new routes include dedicated flights from Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Harbin to Moscow, Tel Aviv and Liege.

General manager Zhao Jian told media: “The plan is that our intelligent technology could match products waiting for delivery and aircraft with cargo transport capacity available, and work efficiently within our network.”

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Source: The Load Star

AAPA: Air cargo weakened in May due to Covid-19

Covid-19 continued to weigh heavily on Asia Pacific airlines in May, with international air passenger markets “close to a standstill” while air cargo “weakened”.

Preliminary May 2020 traffic analysis from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) saw air cargo demand in May, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), fall by 19.0% year-on-year.

AAPA reported: “With offered freight capacity decreasing by 20.1% for the month, the average international freight load factor rose just marginally, by 0.9 percentage points to 60.9%, reflecting the capacity crunch experienced in preceding months as a result of the sharp declines in belly-hold space on passenger aircraft.”

The travel and tourism sectors were “crippled by widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions”. In aggregate, the region’s airlines carried only 785,000 passengers in May, a 97.5% decline compared to the same month last year.

AAPA director general Subhas Menon said: “The plunge in passenger demand in the month of May, and declines in air cargo volumes, underscore the immense challenges that airlines are facing.

“Overall, the region’s carriers transported more passengers and cargo compared to the previous month. But the prognosis for the industry as well as tourism and trade remains grim.”

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Source: Air Cargo News

More transatlantic blankings are unveiled as a new trade war threatens

2M partners Maersk and MSC have extended the suspension of their TA4/NEUATL4 transatlantic loop through to September.

The service, which deploys five vessels with an average capacity of 5,300 teu and has a rotation of Antwerp-Rotterdam-Bremerhaven-Liverpool-New York-Savannah-Port Everglades-Savannah, was originally suspended until mid-June and to mid-July.

Maersk attributed the new move to “continued market demand reductions in North America and Europe caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”. The service is now stemmed to be reinstated from Europe in the first week of September and from the US mid-month.

Maersk said today it would “continue to review the demand picture and adjust deployed capacity as needed”, while MSC said it was continuing with its “prudent approach to capacity management during the Covid-19 crisis”.

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Source: The Load Star