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DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities

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DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities. Image: DB Schenker
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DB Schenker has transported equipment for a vaccine filling line this week on behalf of US-based healthcare company Nexus Pharmaceuticals.

With a total volume of 82 tons, it was necessary to charter an Antonov An-124 aircraft for the flight from Frankfurt-Hahn in Germany to Chicago-Rockford in the US. The transported material comprised of a vaccine filling machine with isolator from the German specialized engineering companies Bausch + Stroebel and Franz Ziel.

Once the production line is operational, it has the capability to produce up to 30 million doses of vaccines per month. The design and fabrication of the machine already began years before the pandemic.

Thorsten Meincke, Member of the Management Board for Air and Ocean Freight at DB Schenker: “With our expertise in intercontinental transports, we want to support the global fight against the pandemic by building up vaccine production capacities where possible. More than ever, logistics truly matters. We are proud to be able to realize short-term air freight solutions for our customers even in times of limited market capacities.”

John Cook, Vice President of Manufacturing Operations of Nexus Pharmaceuticals: “Nexus Pharmaceuticals is keenly aware of the need for an increase in global vaccine production capabilities and as such has aggressively taken steps to address the situation. The filling line and associated isolator represent critical pieces and their arrival is the culmination of Nexus’ commitment to addressing medical needs during the pandemic. Nexus’ investment with DB Schenker’s tremendous support was instrumental in the fast-tracking of the commissioning of our state-of-the-art sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.”

Bausch + Stroebel is a German specialist in machines for pharmaceutical packaging. Ahead of the break-out of the pandemic, the company already started to develop and build the now transported production line for the filling of sterile pharmaceutical products into vials. Franz Ziel created a tailor-made isolator to realize a truly aseptic environment for the processing of sterile pharmaceutical products.

From the two companies’ locations in Ilshofen and Billerbeck, DB Schenker transported the equipment to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport from where an Antonov An-124 charter flight carried 67 tons to Chicago-Rockford. The cargo was split into 20 boxes: The largest container possessed a length of 8.5 meters and 8.3 tons in chargeable weight. As even the Antonov’s capacities were not sufficient, another 15 tons were transported on DB Schenker’s regular weekly scheduled charter flight from Munich to Rockford.

After the arrival of both flights in the US, DB Schenker forwarded the entire cargo to Pleasant Prairie in Wisconsin where Nexus Pharmaceuticals will use the vaccine filling line with its surrounding isolator in a state-of-the-art sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. Depending on the type of vaccine, the machine is capable to produce up to 30 million doses monthly which could help to alleviate production bottlenecks to overcome the pandemic. The vaccines filled by the machine could be distributed both in the US and internationally. Subsequently, the line will be used for filling Nexus Pharmaceutical’s extensive portfolio of specialty and generic injectable products into vials.

An Antonov An-124 has a length of almost 70 meters. With a total shipment volume of 400 cubic meters, DB Schenker’s decision to utilize the four-engined airlift was based on the size of the cargo rather than its weight.

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Air Freight

Virgin Atlantic Cargo launches new service to Norway

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Virgin Atlantic Cargo launches new service to Norway in collaboration with Kuehne+Nagel. Image: Wikimedia/ Riik@mctr
Virgin Atlantic Cargo launches new service to Norway in collaboration with Kuehne+Nagel. Image: Wikimedia/ Riik@mctr
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Virgin Atlantic Cargo is extending its cargo-only network to Evenes, operating flights between London Heathrow and Norway for the first time in its history.

The first official flight will depart on Wednesday 3rd February, and the airline is set to offer twice-weekly flights on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft offering over 100 tonnes of capacity each week, primarily serving the Norwegian seafood and fish industry.

This new service will offer fast, efficient connections via London Heathrow onto Virgin Atlantic’s extensive global network, with seafood set to travel onwards to various US destinations and other
gateways on Virgin’s network. For exports to the US, the service will allow cargo to reach its destination up to 72 hours faster than current solutions through Oslo. The route expects to carry
vast quantities of fresh salmon, as well as cod and crabs.

Flying a wide-body aircraft into Harstad/Narvik airport at Evenes posed challenges for the Virgin Atlantic team which they overcame to ensure the route was operationally viable. Working closely
with Kuehne+Nagel counterparts, the teams took part in online training and also operated a test flight Wednesday 27th January as part of the launch preparations.

Key challenges for Virgin Atlantic’s team include limited hours of daylight per day, cold and windy weather with winter temperatures reaching highs of just minus 2 Celsius as well as de-icing
requirements. All pilots took part in special training for the unique approaches and departures they will experience alongside detailed briefings and airfield assessments that they will conduct at the airport.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to innovate and expand its destination offering with the new service to northern Norway its 11th new cargo destination in twelve months.

Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to expand at pace, and this exciting new launch is testament to the innovative spirit of our business. Norway is our 11th new cargo destination in twelve months, and we’re now able to offer customers a fast, efficient cargo service via London Heathrow onto the rest of our network. ”
“We look forward to working alongside Avinor, Perishable Centre North, Widerøe Ground Handling, and especially Kuehne+Nagel as we provide this seamless service for customers.”.

Dennis Verkooy, Global Head Perishables & Carrier Management Air Logistics at Kuehne+Nagel, said: “What sounded impossible has quickly developed into an innovative solution. Together with
our partner, Virgin Atlantic Cargo, we are now able to provide our customers in Northern Norway a service that is not only reliable and secure but also gives them the fastest possible access to their
markets. “The new route will ensure that temperature-sensitive products will arrive on time and in perfect condition with maximum freshness to consumers.”

 

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Air Freight

Amazon continues to expand its transportation fleet with purchased aircraft

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Amazon continues to expand its transportation fleet with purchased aircraft. Image: Pixabay
Amazon continues to expand its transportation fleet with purchased aircraft. Image: Pixabay
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Amazon announced its first-ever purchase of eleven Boeing 767-300 aircraft, expanding its fleet to continue to serve customers. The purchases include seven aircraft from Delta and four aircraft from WestJet, which will join the network by 2022. Amazon Air’s fleet expansion comes at a time when customers are relying on fast, free shipping more than ever.

“Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the U.S. in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing our own aircraft is a natural next step toward that goal,” said Sarah Rhoads, Vice President of Amazon Global Air. “Having a mix of both leased and owned aircraft in our growing fleet allows us to better manage our operations, which in turn helps us to keep pace in meeting our customer promises.”

Amazon Air plays a central role in delivering for customers by transporting items across longer distances in shorter timeframes. The four aircraft purchased from WestJet in March are currently undergoing passenger to cargo conversion and will join Amazon Air’s network in 2021, and the seven aircraft from Delta will enter Amazon’s air cargo network in 2022. These fleet additions will ensure added capacity in Amazon Air’s network for years to come. The company will continue to rely on third-party carriers to operate these new aircraft.

Amazon Air continues to expand globally to meet the needs of its growing customer base, while investing in jobs and sustainable solutions to power its network. Last year, Amazon launched its first-ever air hub at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany and new regional air operations at Lakeland Linder International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Richmond International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Kahului Airport, Kona International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Louis Armstrong International Airport.

This summer, Amazon Air announced its purchase of six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel and has already invested in leading-edge electric ground service equipment and solar rooftop panels planned at some facilities. Since Amazon Air’s launch in 2016, Amazon has invested hundreds of millions of dollars and created thousands of new jobs at Amazon Air locations across the U.S.

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Air Freight

Cargolux and DB Schenker start new charter connection for pharma cargo

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Cargolux and DB Schenker announce new charter connection for pharma cargo. Image: Cargolux
Cargolux and DB Schenker announce new charter connection for pharma cargo. Image: Cargolux
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Cargolux and DB Schenker announce a new full charter cargo connection between Luxembourg and Indianapolis, USA, starting in January 2021. With this new agreement both partners expand their well-established 15 year-long partnership. Cargolux’s initial service between its home base in Luxembourg and the Indiana capital was inaugurated in 2005 to support DB Schenker’s business in the region. The successful collaboration has grown over the years and is now cemented through this charter solution.

With weekly departures on a Boeing 747 freighter DB Schenker makes Cargolux’s extensive experience in the handling of pharmaceutical and healthcare goods available for its customers in Europe and Northern America. By partnering with the leading provider of transportation services for pharmaceutical and healthcare products and the airline that was, in 2014, the first to be GDP certified, DB Schenker reaches a milestone in setting up its new healthcare service portfolio DB SCHENKERlife+.

Veronique Dameme, Head of Global Vertical Market Healthcare at DB Schenker, says: “Our new product portfolio DB SCHENKERlife+ offers exceptional quality, unconditional security and fully reliable logistics services. The cooperation with Cargolux expands the foundation for our robust global GDP program and customized services as air track, 24/7 monitoring, packaging supplies or telemetric devices. In such volatile times DB SCHENKERlife+ thus provides urgently needed transparency and predictability.”

“Cargolux is pleased to launch this new weekly charter service in collaboration with DB Schenker. Both companies have enjoyed a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership on this lane over the past 15 years and we are happy to expand on this success.”, says Domenico Ceci, Cargolux’s Executive Vice-President Sales & Marketing.

With pharma handling expertise throughout its network and a dedicated Healthcare Center in Luxembourg, Cargolux is the ideal partner for DB SCHENKERlife+ which has patient safety, quality and reliability in its DNA. The new weekly connection between Luxembourg and Indianapolis makes DB Schenker’s portfolio of customizable services available in the world’s regions with the highest demand for healthcare and pharmaceutical products and creates capacities for potential Covid-19 vaccine transportation demand.

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