Major shipping lines, container ports and operators have signed a charter with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and UNICEF to assist with the Covid-19 vaccine distribution.
Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, the Port of Antwerp and DP World are among the 18 shipping, airlines and logistics companies which have participated in an innovative collaboration to support the globally inclusive, safe and sustainable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
"We will focus our best efforts as a strong collective, to support the COVAX participant countries, with planning, preparedness and prioritised transportation and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and related supplies, subject to internal regulations," said UNICEF in a statement.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and World Health Organisation (WHO) and its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
The signed WEF Supply Chain & Transport Industry Charter focuses on four main ways of transporting the medicine:
- Engage with governments, customs authorities, UNICEF and other United Nations (UN) Agencies, and Non-governmental organisations (NGO)
- Participate in operational asset and competency sharing
- Assign expertise to support governments, where requested by UNICEF
- Support UNICEF’s Global Vaccine Logistics Distribution, for Covid-19, with prioritisation and solutions for international and in-country distribution of vaccines and related supplies on behalf of the COVAX facility.
"The first wave of vaccines for the 92 low- to middle-income COVAX countries represents two to three times UNICEF’s yearly routine vaccination programme," highlighted WEF and added, "The magnitude of the task requires bold collective action from multinational organisations, governments and industries."
The rest of the companies that have signed the charter are Agility, DSV Panalpina, Lufthansa Cargo, Stena AB, Allcargo Logistics, Deutsche Post DHL, PSA International, Toll Group, DFDS, Panama Canal Authority, Singapore Airlines and UPS.