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Press Release: Plantation, January 21, 2021

  • DHL Express delivered the first shipments of the vaccine to Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama, and will deliver to other countries in the coming weeks
  • With more than 60 flights carrying the vaccine shipments to various locations around the world, the company also delivered batches to 10 countries in Europe

DHL Express, the worldwide leading express service provider, has successfully delivered the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Americas, reaching the first countries to receive the first doses in South America: Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama. The company has operated more than 60 flights transporting the numerous shipments of the urgently needed vaccines around the world, ten of which carried the temperature-controlled shipment to the Americas. 

“The current crisis first showed how indispensable international logistics networks are for ensuring that societies have the necessary personal protective equipment and test kits to secure their health. Now, we are proud to be part of the next step in our common fight against the coronavirus. Our teams across 220 countries and territories worked for several months to prepare for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ve delivered it successfully to every country assigned and we’re ready to continue delivering anytime and anywhere it’s needed,” said Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas. 

The international distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine started early December as flights operated by DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding brought the first batches of the vaccine to Israel, the first country recipient. DHL Global Forwarding, the international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, dedicated a charter flight for additional supplies of vaccine doses, which arrived at the Ben-Gurion airport.

“The development of a coronavirus vaccine is a crucial first step in ending this pandemic and we are proud to play an active role as the most global logistics provider in delivering the vaccine to people in many countries. With our extensive logistics expertise in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector paired with the commitment and passion of our people, we hope to play significant part in the battle against COVID-19. That’s the purpose of Deutsche Post DHL Group – connecting people and improving lives,” said Tim Robertson, CEO for DHL Global Forwarding Americas. 

In the Americas, DHL already has delivered several shipments of the vaccine to Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama, and will continue to additional batches of the vaccine in the next few months. Other countries where DHL delivered the vaccines include Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Oman, Romania, Singapore and Sweden. 

 “Our Express network has proven its strong resilience during this pandemic. While almost all nations went into lockdowns, none of our operations have stopped,” said Parra. “It is in our DNA to deliver, even in times of global crisis. Thanks to our people and infrastructure, we are able to keep trade lanes open and enable our customers to continue their businesses.”

In the United States, DHL Supply Chain, the division of Deutsche Post DHL Group that specializes in contract logistics, is also part of the international effort to successfully deliver the vaccine. The company deployed a Control Tower solution to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines within North America and internationally, providing customized technology and a dedicated team of experts to perform key logistics functions around-the-clock and increase visibility of the supply chain from the moment when orders are received through to the final delivery. With this solution, DHL Supply Chain provides support in planning and allocating orders to the major parcel carriers charged with delivering vaccine doses in the U.S. and monitoring each individual order through to their final destination.

“The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine creates a great number of risks given the current state of urgency, the scale and complexity of the different requirements of transportation, and these needs to be carefully managed,” said Jim Monkmeyer, President of Transportation, DHL Supply Chain North America. ”While the physical transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine is critical to guarantee its efficacy, a huge effort is needed behind-the-scenes to manage the data and to orchestrate and optimize the whole process. The combination of cutting edge technology and people with extensive experience in different disciplines of supply chain management is also a great demonstration of the value that contract logistics providers can bring to support this vital effort.”

More than 9,000 specialists work across DHL’s dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalization, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between. 

DHL’s portfolio for the healthcare industry includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites and 135+ medical express sites. 

On a global scale logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide – also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where some 3 billion people live. To provide global coverage of the next two years, up to 200,000 pallet shipments and 15 million cooling boxes as well as up to 15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain setups.