Watch: ‘Rolling Out the Covid-19 Vaccine – A Race Against Time’
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Watch: ‘Rolling Out the Covid-19 Vaccine – A Race Against Time’

TLME hosts a Roundtable with industry leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by global vaccine distribution

TLME News Service

Transport & Logistics Middle East (TLME) hosted a ‘Leaders in Transport’ Roundtable with the title ‘Rolling Out the Covid-19 Vaccine: A Race Against Time’ to explore how key players in the logistics sector are going to roll out the coronavirus vaccine in the Middle East and across the world.

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine has been described as the “biggest logistics challenge since World War 2.”

Firstly, the sheer scale of the roll-out is unprecedented in world history, and this comes at a time of low demand and global recession, making the mission doubly hard.

To make matters even more challenging, any potential vaccine must be shipped at sub-zero temperatures and this requires ships, planes, trucks and logistics depots to be fitted out to manage huge quantities of frozen cargo.

While we do have a global cold-chain system in place, at present it is much smaller than what is required for a Global, and Middle East region roll-out.

Despite these unprecedented challenges, there’s also space for many new opportunities which were discussed at the roundtable.

‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’ – Winston Churchill

The opportunities discussed at the roundtable were new business models, new opportunities for intra-sector collaboration, data-sharing opportunities, intra-regional collaboration, supply-chain public relations, new financial opportunities, and many more.

With speakers representing major companies – such as Maersk, Emirates SkyCargo, Daimler Commercial Vehicles, Hellmann Worldwide and DHL – from across the supply chain, the roundtable also outlined the challenges we will inevitably face.

Bottlenecks, for example, are unavoidable, so planning for these eventualities must begin now.

Even at this point, the Middle East region and the wider world will take a while to reach a point of critical mass when more people have been inoculated than not, meaning these challenges could persist for some time.

This means we’ll have to deal with unpredictable peaks and troughs.

A Bittersweet Challenge

TLME CEO Sam Khan said: “I’m delighted TLME has hosted this most important roundtable. This is one of the most, if not the most, important things I’ve done in my career, as our actions now can have an impact on lives down the line.

“This is a bittersweet challenge in many ways. In one sense, I’m delighted to see figures in the supply chain standing up and being counted at a tough time, giving our industry some much-deserved good press.

“In another sense, one sees the human cost, the difficulties and the uncertain future ahead. However, rest assured that this has filled me and many others in our sector with a determination to do our bit to the best of our ability.”

The roundtable is part of TLME’s on-going effort to aid in Dubai and the Middle East’s on-going efforts to help in every way we can during this pandemic.

The Speakers:

· Dennis Lister, Vice President of Cargo Commercial Development with Emirates Sky Cargo

· Christopher Cook, the UAE Managing Director with Maersk

· Kay-Wolf Ahlden, the President & CEO of Daimler Commercial Vehicles in the MENA Region

· Tobias Maier, CFO of DHL Global Forwarding in the MEA Region & CEO of Saladoo MEA Region

· Madhav Kurup, Regional CEO for the Middle East & South Asia with Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

More news, views, updates and events are in the pipeline, so stay tuned to TLME.

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