Covid-19 vaccine: Logistics sector waits for Govt instructions
The logistics sector want details on capacities that will be needed to assess costs, expand the fleet
As India looks to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine soon, several logistics companies including TCI Express, OM Logistics, MuDiTa are readying to start transporting the vaccine. The government will be the main distributor for the Covid-19 vaccine, as per early indications.
MuDita Express Cargo, a company that has distributed pulse polio vaccine at minus 20 degrees Celsius for 15 years; and has a tie-up with SpiceJet, expects the use of reusable “blast chillers” instead of dry ice (used for oral polio vaccine). The roll-out will be in large volumes, making it difficult to make available large quantities of dry ice in a short time, said Amit Gulati, Director, MuDiTa Express Cargo.
“A challenge will be to reach taluka level in the quickest time. Once the vaccine is out, everybody would like to be vaccinated at the earliest,” said Chander Agarwal, Managing Director, TCI Express, that has contractual agreements with pharma companies that are engaged in producing vaccines. TCI Express has also tied up several NGOs for transporting vaccines for immunization. “We have also tied up with government bodies for whom we move temperature-controlled products at 2-8 degrees,” said Agarwal.
That said, companies are waiting for clearer signals. “We are waiting for some contours regarding the volume of vaccine, and location-wise demand. This is required to firm up the quantum of investments and costing,” said Akash Bansal, Country Head, OM Logistics, another company that has tied up with SpiceJet .
“We are also investing and readying some vehicles – through a mix of own fleet and attaching dedicated fleet. Our country has a 20,000 reefer truck fleet which is not idle. Of those, maybe 10-15 percent will be utilized due to less demand, some of which we will tie up with,” said Bansal.