UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced service enhancements to aid in the massive distribution efforts for COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months. As part of these enhancements, UPS Healthcare now can produce up to 1,200 lbs. of dry ice per hour in its U.S. facilities to support the storage and transportation of cold chain products, such as frozen vaccines, in accordance with manufacturer storage requirements. The increased production also allows UPS to make dry ice available for US and Canadian hospitals, clinics and other points of care requiring dry ice to store vaccines locally. Dry ice will be sourced at UPS Worldport® and can be available the next day.
A major spike in demand is causing logistics providers to plan for what some analysts fear may be a dry ice shortage, as pharmaceutical companies strategise getting hundreds of millions of their vaccine doses safely to communities around the US and internationally.
"Enhancing our dry ice production capabilities increases our supply chain agility and reliability immensely with regard to handling complex vaccines for our customers," says Wes Wheeler, President of UPS Healthcare. "Healthcare facilities in Louisville, Dallas and Ontario will ensure we have the capability to produce the dry ice to sufficiently pack and replenish shipments to keep products viable and effective."
In addition to dry ice production, UPS will also launch, in collaboration with Stirling Ultracold, a joint effort to provide portable ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. These portable freezers will be distributed and used in smaller point of care facilities requiring a more permanent solution for longer term freezer storage. UPS will be working with Stirling to offer the Stirling ULT25 and Undercounter Model SU105, to thermally protect critical vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures ranging from -20°C to -80°C.
"We are truly proud to partner with UPS in this critical effort. As the leading manufacturer of small and portable ULT devices, Stirling Ultracold freezers integrate well with UPS Healthcare logistics to provide complete cold chains of custody for COVID-19 vaccines from the medicine manufacturers to medical facilities," says Dusty Tenney, CEO of Stirling. "This programme will help ensure vaccines remain effective next year, and for years to come, as future vaccines and biologics are developed to keep the world healthy and safe."
UPS Healthcare delivers unparalleled healthcare logistics expertise to its customers around the world. UPS Healthcare has 11+ million square feet of cGMP and GDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. Its services include inventory management, cold chain packaging and shipping, storage and fulfilment of medical devices, and lab and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare's global infrastructure, its UPS® Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meeting today's complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and laboratory diagnostic industries.
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