Cold Chain Logistics: How to Ship ART COVID-19 Test Kits from Singapore to the USA

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According to Statista, over 42,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the United States on March 12, 2022. As the virus continues to spread, and residents start exhibiting symptoms, having the means to test and self-isolate is critical to avoid spreading to those particularly vulnerable. 

The self-test kits are quick screening tools one can use to test themselves for COVID-19. Known as Antigen Rapid Test (ART), or a lateral flow test, it allows one to test themselves before going into the workplace, if they are visiting seniors or when they notice symptoms. It is more comfortable than a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and its testing capability is highly accurate. 

 To start shipping ART kits to the United States from Singapore, you should first gather information on the different brands of test kits available in the market, the customs regulations and logistics requirements. This would put you in the best position to start shipping COVID-19 test kits to the USA. 

What are the different test kits available? 

There might be several test kits available on the market, but only a selected few are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers and test names that are approved include: 

  • Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough, Inc.: BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test

  • Access Bio, Inc.: CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Home Test

  • ACON Laboratories, Inc: Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test

  • Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD): BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test

Also note, even if a brand of test kit has been approved by the Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA), it does not necessarily mean it has been approved by the FDA. It is important that you do your due diligence to ensure that the brand you intend on exporting to the USA is approved by the authorities there. 

The weight of the test kits, the box size and number of kits within each box determine shipping costs. In this regard, the test kit type you choose will also influence the final cost. Compare these details across test kits to find the most cost-effective option to  ship. 

What type of shipping should you choose? 

When shipping medical supplies, and in this case ART kits, going with air shipping as opposed to ocean freight shipping would be your best option. Ocean freight can take up to 3 to 5 months, while air shipping can be as quick as one day, and sometimes, within a single day. 

DHL Express offers one of the fastest international delivery services, with a delivery time of 1-6 business days.

If you would like to send your test kits as soon as possible, DHL Express offers Same Day courier services that get your kits delivered in the shortest amount of time. DHL Jetline prioritises your shipment by ensuring it’s on the next flight out of the country, providing pre-arrival custom clearance and expedited last-mile delivery so your kits arrive at the desired destination in the USA at the earliest possible time.

How do you ship and what are the USA import regulations?

To start the process of shipping and prepare your shipment, follow these quick and easy steps: 

  1. Create a DHL Express Air waybill (AWB).

  2. Prepare a shipping invoice.

  3. Pack your shipment.

  4. Call up for your shipment collection.

Singapore and the USA have existing bilateral trade agreements in place, making it more convenient for you to export test kits from here. But there are import customs and regulations for different types of products when shipping from Singapore to the USA. For test kits you would need to provide the following: 

  • Manufacturer’s name, address, device listing number

  • Emergency use authorisation ("EUA") approval number 

  • Material safety data sheet (MSDS); contains information of the contents of your shipment to verify that t it does not fall under the dangerous goods (DG) category

Also, it is important to note that if the total value of your test kits exceeds US$2,500, a phone number and email address of the consignee or importer on the invoice and AWB will be required.

What are the costs of shipping? 

To determine costs of shipping, you will need to calculate two things: weight of each package and size of each package. Choose a box size from the packaging options provided by DHL Express. We offer a range of different types of boxes designed to suit your unique preference, whether it's a shoe box size (35 x 20 x 15 cm) or a larger, moving box size (75 x 35 x 25 cm). Try filling a single box to ascertain the max number of test kits and what the final weight is. 

As you would with other types of packages and products, pack your test kits conscientiously and avoid common packing mistakes to prevent any potential damage and to ensure a smooth shipment. These include adding bubble wrap or foam peanuts to secure the kits and make sure they do not slide around in the boxes. You should also label your boxes well. For fragile items, like test kits, you would want to use special handling labels. 

Ship ART test kits with DHL Express

When transporting ART test kits, it’s imperative that the supply chain process is optimised for efficient deliveries and that they are done so in a controlled environment. This ensures quality is preserved. With DHL Express Worldwide, we provide timely delivery service for time-sensitive shipments, with real-time proactive delivery notifications available to and from all delivery locations worldwide.

We also have a well-trained team of shipping specialists that handle your parcel with care at every step of the journey, from pick up to delivery. Your shipments will also be given the flexibility of latest possible collection timings, and priority clearance so they are never left sitting, waiting to be cleared. 

DHL has also launched an air freight charter connecting Asia Pacific to the U.S., as well as Europe. This service aims to meet demand from customers in the technology, manufacturing and life science and healthcare sectors by offering cold chain logistics. Its globally certified facilities and technology that allow shipments to be tracked real-time ensure the integrity of any other medical-related products.

Start shipping COVID-19 medical supplies with DHL Express’ international shipping services. We offer  door-to-door shipping services and simplify the process of shipping for you through MyDHL+, MyBill, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery).

Sign up for a DHL Express account today.