Telematics Solutions for Global Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution

Distributing the COVID-19 vaccine will be unlike any vaccine distribution effort due to its scale and urgency. The key lies in advanced telematics solutions that deliver efficient and reliable cold chain supply management at scale for life saving vaccines.

The Cold Chain Supply Challenge

According to Deutsche Post DHL, to provide global coverage of the vaccines, up to ~200,000 pallet shipments, ~15 million deliveries in cooling boxes, and ~15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain setups. The vaccines might have to be kept in sustained sub-zero conditions. For instance, the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at Antarctic winter conditions of minus 70 degrees Celsius.

Unprecedented speed to market

Speed to market and maintaining cold chain integrity is the biggest consideration for all stakeholders in the supply chain, than distribution cost or logistics efficiency.

Unfamiliar shipping/transport networks

The vaccine supply chain will be stretched to meet demand at a national, continental and global scale requiring new and concerted multimodal means.

Unmoderated scale-up

The COVID-19 vaccine will require full-scale manufacturing and distribution from day one.

Telematics Solutions for Cold Chain Custody

Cold chain requires technology that can support the design of a supply chain that ensures safe manufacturing, storage and transportation of goods that require cold storage. To create these intelligent and resilient supply chains real time visibility is needed. Telematics plays a significant role in handling cold chain custody. Temperature-monitoring sensors that link to a wider fleet management system already exist, but the next-generation of telematics is intuitive, intelligent, and integral to the cold chain transport industry.

  • Real-time supply chain data embedded in a planning and execution platform boosts service levels and increases supply chain resilience.
  • The development of these systems can be tailored to suit the needs of the supply chain operator.
  • These technologies track the location and movements of the device, the vehicle, and its load. This tracking can be done not just on the vehicle level, and down to sub-components such as equipment and the load itself.
  • Using sophisticated sensor equipment, companies can better manage cold chain custody. This includes technology that allows for finding the best route in real-time, tracking the status of engines and tires, and offering real-time feedback to drivers on best practices.
  • Telematics also can maintain records that document every move along the cold supply chain, providing accountability throughout.

Benefits of Telematics Driven Supply Chains

The benefits of combining technologies, real-time data, multiparty platforms, and artificial intelligence, are significant.

Cost-Effective

Many systems do not require the upfront purchase of hardware but work with the existing in-built hardware that manufacturers install.

Increased Asset Utilization

They optimize the utilization of transportation assets and equipment by knowing the exact time and location, which determines availability. This also offers backhaul opportunities.

Greater Resource Utilization

Early visibility and the ability to change schedules to optimize productivity is inbuilt. Teams can schedule another vehicle when there is a delay, or reduce personnel required based on known arrivals of vehicles.

Higher Service Levels

Potential delays can be identified faster and optimize response time for the best outcome in time.

Better Operator Performance

Accurately measure plan adherence and find tactical opportunities to monitor, manage, and improve driver performance.

Competitive Differentiation for Supplier

Capitalize as the shipper of choice with accurate information about arrivals, compliance, and better exception handling.

The Time to Optimize is Now

What’s most critical now is creating a simple, yet broad technology offering, which can ramp up the sophistication and fidelity of telematics data flows. The more data points created, the more fidelity is derived in the supply chain ecosystem for Covid-19. This will in turn enable suppliers, shippers and governments to inspect, analyze, optimize and protect the distribution of vaccine materials.

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