Hyderabad, May 7 : With an estimated 3.6 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines expected to be produced by various manufacturers in Hyderabad over the next 18-24 months, Hyderabad Air Cargo is emerging as a crucial Covid vaccine handling centre.
The GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) has in recent months handled more than 100 tonnes of Covid vaccines that were distributed from Hyderabad to various parts of the country.
For the first time in India on May 1, GHAC successfully handled the large import shipment of the Sputnik V vaccines from Russia, which required specialised handling and procedures to meet the stringent time and temperature (-20-degree Celsius) constraints.
The handling of this critical shipment marked a major milestone for the country, the operator said on Friday.
GHAC is a WHO-GSDP (World Health Organization-Good Storage and Distribution Practices) certified major Gateway Location in India.
It is uniquely positioned to handle temperature sensitive cargo and ensure its seamless distribution.It is equipped to serve both outbound and inbound vaccine shipments by providing world-class infrastructure for requisite temperature-controlled zones.
Given that Hyderabad is India’s premier pharma and vaccine manufacturing hub, GHAC has developed the necessary infrastructure and is playing an active role in ensuring unbroken cold chain for Covid vaccine supply.
In order to address the anticipated surge in the movement of Covid vaccines in Hyderabad, GHAC has been expanding its landside and airside facilities and streamlining processes to meet the unique requirements for vaccine shipments and temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals.
The existing pharma zone facility is also being expanded to almost double the area for handling increased movements of vaccine and pharma shipments.It has also increased the capacities of all temperature zones — 15-25 degrees, 2-8 degrees and -20 degrees Celsius.
The entire pharma zone including the newly expanding area is equipped with temperature and humidity sensors with alarm alerts along with CCTV surveillance to check temperature excursions in real time.
The temperature recording and monitoring is being done with data loggers in exclusive cold storage for temperature sensitive cargo like vaccines/pharma.
GHAC is introducing ‘Cold Super Store’ as part of the extended pharma zone to mitigate any temperature excursions during unloading of pharma shipments.
It had launched a custom built large Cool Dolly, a mobile refrigerated unit for airside transportation of large pallets till the aircraft, maintaining the cold-chain.
GHAC recently partnered with Dubai Airports for the launch of ‘HYDXB-VAXCOR’, a first of its kind strategic initiative in the industry to address the unique logistical challenge of moving vaccines between Dubai and India through the Hyderabad airport as a hub.
GHAC said its e-Reception system ensures hassle-free entry and exit of the refrigerated trucks on the landside.For ensuring smooth last mile delivery, GHAC facilitates the movement of cargo to different parts of the country with its trucking partners who provide road feeder service.
GHAC has also been gearing up towards technology enhancements and has been recently integrating Vaccine Ledger, a next-gen block-chain solution to deliver enhanced track and trace solution and real-time monitoring of vaccine shipments from Hyderabad.
GHAC’s major airline partners are connecting Hyderabad to different parts of the country and the world.Currently, the Hyderabad airport has direct services to 58 domestic destinations and around 150 destinations globally, including all the major cargo hubs of the world.
To facilitate connectivity across its extended catchment areas, GHAC has partnered with the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to provide first mile and last mile connectivity to various parts of South and Central India.TSRTC is successfully operating its fleet for the last six months.