Dec 21, 2020 08:45 AM EST
FedEx and UPS are two fierce competitors companies who came up with a plan of dividing the United States to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered as quickly as possible. The Pfizer vaccine was immediately given authorization, and so the plan went into action, as per the INC.
During a hearing earlier this month, UPS President of Global Healthcare Wes Wheeler told Senators, "FedEx and UPS have split the country into two; we know exactly what states we have and they know what states they have."
The shipping companies coordinate with Pfizer and Moderna as its COVID-19 vaccine has also been given FDA emergency approval. They aim to deliver the first doses of the companies' vaccine this morning as they work with both drugmakers.
Meanwhile, the federal government explained that boxes of COVID-19 vaccine doses were packers at Pfizer's plant in Michigan. In contrast, Moderna's vaccines were packed in Indiana, shipped by trucks, and air to FedEx and UPS hubs for distribution across their networks.
According to FedEx, the vaccine doses will be delivered after a day of picking up the boxes from the production plant. Besides that effort of delivering the vaccines quickly and safely, the shipments are tracked minute-by-minute, and every delivery has an escort. Still, the companies declined to provide specific details regarding the measures.
FedEx and UPS can provide vaccine shipments priority despite the peak shipping schedule. UPS is also considering they refused to pick up loads from several retailers who reached their agreed-upon capacity limits.
Richard Smith, FedEx Regional President, said that the FedEx Ground system, which they have been investigating, will manage the bulk of the surging online retail orders of all the Christmas gifts. Express network also focuses more on time-definite critical deliveries, including vaccines that FedEx will be focused on sending the mission-critical vaccines.
After the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization late Friday, FedEx and UPS will begin mobilizing delivery networks to ship Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. According to Freight Waves, Pfizer's vaccine will have its first release on Sunday, and the shipping companies are expected to start rolling out distribution centers. The dosing sites will begin to receive the COVID-19 vaccines on Monday.
Previously, Moderna moved vials from the fill-finish manufacturing sites to the distribution centers. These distribution centers were operated by McKesson Corp., the U.S. government's third-party logistics coordinator for the distribution of the vaccines. McKesson workers pack boxes with containers with 100 vials each, dry ice, and load them on the trucks.
On Saturday morning, Army Gen. Gus Perna, head of a public-private logistics partnership known as Operation Warp Speed, confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccine deliveries would start on Monday.
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