Cainiao Partners Ethiopian Airlines to Launch Cold Chain Air Freight for Temperature-Controlled Vaccine Transportation
[30 November 2020] – Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (“Cainiao Network”), the logistics arms of Alibaba Group Holdings Limited, today announced its partnership with Ethiopian Airlines (“Ethiopian”) to launch a special cold chain air freight for the transportation of temperature-controlled medicines from Shenzhen Airport, China's first medical cross-border cold chain facility. Temperature-controlled medicines will be distributed twice a week from Shenzhen to Africa, and to the rest of the world via Dubai and Addis Ababa.
This is China's first cross-border medical cold chain route to be operated regularly and is certified to transport temperature-controlled medicines including COVID-19 vaccines.
The end-to-end transportation process requires a highly effective cold chain management. During air freight, the entire cold chain cabin is equipped with a temperature control system that monitors the cabin’s temperature in real-time. As the fourth airport in Mainland China that obtained International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics, Shenzhen Airport is also well-equipped to handle biotechnology products. The cargo terminal in Ethiopia is outfitted with compartmentalized cold storage facilities with temperature between -23℃ to 25℃. It occupies an area of 54,000 square metres, with dedicated cool dollies and pharma team, as well as real-time temperature monitoring system to ensure a safe and seamless cold chain logistics for handling temperature sensitive healthcare products.
“Cainiao’s global logistics network spans over 200 countries and regions, providing end-to-end integrated logistics services, including digital customs clearance capabilities,” said James Zhao, General Manager of Cainiao International Supply Chain. “The launch of the cold chain air freight has further bolstered our global logistics capabilities, and allow us to offer a one-stop solution for the global distribution of medical products such as the Covid-19 vaccines.”
Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group CEO said “Ethiopian Airlines will repeat its remarkable and globally recognized success in leading the fast delivery of PPEs few months ago with similar delivery speed, professional handling and maintaining the cold chain during the forthcoming global distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. In anticipation of the Covid-19 vaccine release, we will be at the forefront to further discharge our responsibility in the distribution of the vaccine across the globe.”
Cainiao’s launch of the “Green Channel” Initiative this year to fight the pandemic has helped in the distribution of 250 million pieces of PPEs, including Covid-19 test kits, to medical suppliers in over 150 countries and regions. In collaboration with its partners, Cainiao has also helped to transport medical relief items for international organizations during the pandemic outbreak.
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About Cainiao Smart Logistics Network
Founded in 2013, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (“Cainiao”) is a technology company and the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group. It adopts a collaborative approach to logistics with an innovative and open data platform that improves efficiency and customer experience for all players along the supply chain. It carries forward Alibaba’s mission of making it easy to do business anywhere by aiming to deliver anywhere in China within 24 hours, and across the globe within 72 hours.
About Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.
Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the Pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to 127 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft. Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15- year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with Six business units: Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian ADD Hub Ground Services and Ethiopian Airports Services. Ethiopian is a multi-award-winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer