GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo handles the biggest import consignment of COVID-19 vaccines

GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) handled a major import shipment of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines. The vaccine consignment arrived from Russia on a specially chartered freighter RU-9450 which touched down at Hyderabad Airport at 03.43 hours. 

While GHAC has already handled several import shipments of vaccine prior to this, today’s shipment of 56.6 tonnes of vaccines is the single largest import shipment of COVID-19 vaccines handled in India till date. This shipment completed all processes and was dispatched in less than 90 minutes.

The Sputnik V vaccine requires specialised handling and storage, requiring to be kept at a temperature of -20° C. GHAC has been working closely with the experts from the customer’s supply chain team, officials from customs department and other relevant stakeholders over an extended period of time to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and handling processes are fully in place at the air cargo terminal for smooth handling of the vaccine shipments.

With the smooth handling of this large vaccine import consignment, GHAC has further cemented its position as the largest vaccine import hub for India.

Major pharma companies based in and around Hyderabad are expected to produce or import over 3.5 billion doses of different varieties of COVID vaccines over the next couple of years and GHAC has been gearing up on all fronts to handle the surge in vaccine shipments.

Key elements of the temperature controlled infrastructure at GHAC are all being expanded in terms of both capacities as well as capabilities. Among other measures, GHAC has expanded the capacity of ‘Pharma Zone’, which is India’s first dedicated pharma cargo export terminal and introduced a unique temperature-controlled ‘Cool Dolly’ to safely transport shipments from terminal to the aircraft. Together, these initiatives enable GHAC to offer an unparalleled and truly unbroken cold chain for vaccines & pharmaceuticals from truck offloading point till aircraft loading.

On top of the infrastructural improvements, GHAC has also convened a special task force comprising of Customs authorities, airlines, freight forwarders and other stakeholders to ensure priority handling and speedy clearances for vaccines and other Covid relief materials such as medicines, oxygen concentrators, etc.  

GHAC is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Good Storage and Distribution Practices (GSDP) certified major gateway airport in India. It is uniquely positioned to handle temperature sensitive cargo and ensure seamless distribution across the world. GHAC is expanding its facilities and streamlining processes both on landside and airside to meet the unique requirements for perishables, agri products and various temp-controlled pharmaceuticals. It has already launched a large, custom-built Cool Dolly, a Mobile Refrigerated Unit for airside transportation till the shipment reaches the aircraft so as to as maintain an unbroken cold chain, which is scalable.

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