FedEx to ship first wave of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines across the United States

A second COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna has been approved (now two). FedEx Express has made this announcement:

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation and the world’s largest express transportation company, has announced that operations are in motion to transport Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for McKesson Corp. throughout the United States.

Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, FedEx Express will begin transport of the vaccine and kits of supplies for administration of the vaccine, using its FedEx Priority Overnight® service supported by FedEx Priority Alert® advanced monitoring. After months of preparation and close planning with McKesson, Operation Warp Speed and state and local officials, the COVID-19 vaccines will begin moving to dosing centers throughout the United States. FedEx continues to work closely with its healthcare customers on plans for additional vaccine shipments and the transportation of critical vaccine-related supplies.

The FedEx network began actively delivering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments across the U.S. last week. The company is set to begin vaccine shipments throughout Canada as early as next week and is also preparing to begin delivering vaccines to other countries. FedEx is well-positioned to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments around the world with temperature-control solutions, near real-time monitoring capabilities, and a dedicated healthcare team to support the express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments.

“The shipment of vaccines to help end the COVID-19 pandemic is among the most important work in the history of FedEx, and our team is focused on the safe and efficient delivery of these critical shipments,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corp. “As we have said since the onset of the pandemic and our relief efforts, this is who we are and what we do.”

Transportation of COVID-19 vaccines is the next phase of ongoing FedEx efforts to support pandemic relief around the world. FedEx has a long history of supporting relief efforts when disasters strike, using its network and expertise to deliver for good.

“The FedEx team and network are uniquely positioned to deliver on this mission in the U.S. and around the world,” said Don Colleran, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Express. “The transportation of vaccines continues our ongoing work since the beginning of the pandemic to keep critical supply chains operating, meet the increased demands for residential delivery and deliver more than 9,600 humanitarian aid shipments around the globe.”

To help reach underserved communities with the COVID-19 vaccine, FedEx has committed $4 million in cash and in-kind transportation support to several nonprofits serving communities in the U.S. and around the world. These include Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, and Heart to Heart International.

“FedEx Express has deep relationships and decades of experience delivering for our healthcare customers,” said Richard W. Smith, regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support, FedEx Express. “Our service and network were built for this moment. Coupled with our investments in advanced technology, we are ready to support McKesson and Moderna in this historic effort to help end the pandemic.”

About the technology:

At FedEx, the information about the package is as important as the package itself as it moves through the network. FedEx SenseAware ID, a Bluetooth low-energy sensor device, will be affixed to vaccine shipments, helping to ensure these temperature-sensitive deliveries move swiftly and safely through the FedEx Express U.S. network with FedEx Priority Overnight service. From origin to destination, dedicated FedEx Priority Alert customer support agents are using SenseAware monitoring technology to track the location of vaccine shipments in near real-time. This technology is complemented by the FedEx Surround platform, which leverages artificial intelligence and predictive tools to proactively monitor conditions surrounding the packages, allowing customer support agents to intervene if weather or traffic delays threaten to impede delivery times.

Quick stats about the FedEx network:

  • Built over 47 years, the FedEx network consists of more than 5,000 facilities, 680 aircraft, 200,000 vehicles, and – most importantly – nearly 600,000 dedicated team members worldwide.
  • At present, FedEx Express operates nearly 32,000 flights per month, and roughly half are flown by widebody aircraft.
  • FedEx Express has more than 90 cold chain facilities across five continents with plans to open additional facilities in coming years.
  • To the extent vaccine shipments may require the use of dry ice, FedEx Express is capable of safely handling those volumes. FedEx Express transports approximately 500,000 dry ice shipments a month.

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