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Minus 70°C Cold Supply Chain Needed to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine

Helen Colam

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Pfizer South Africa is busy developing a vaccine for the Coronavirus that is still having a devastating impact around the world. They are in-fact a long way down the road with the vaccine. It was reported on the 18th of November that they were days away from requesting FDA approval.

This is good news but a new challenge is on the horizon for many countries. Storing and transporting the vaccine at the correct temperature is essential for it to be effective. The problem is that routine vaccines normally need to be stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C. The Coronavirus vaccine has to be stored at minus 70°C.

South Africa and other African countries do not have the cold chain system in place to store and transport these vaccines at these extremely cold temperatures. The challenge with African countries is reaching the rural hospitals and clinics and the cost associated with this. South Africa cannot afford to purchase the equipment necessary to put the correct cold chain system in place.

As a result, Pfizer/BioNTech is considering vaccines in the form of frozen powders that a liquid can be added to. These freeze-dried vaccines can be stored at the temperatures South Africa is already prepared for.

However, the United Nations has three goals in place and their third goal is for good health and well-being for all people. They are calling for World Leaders to act together to ensure that all countries have the opportunity to provide vaccines for all their citizens.

Logistics

Logistics Going Green

Bernita Marais

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A logistics start-up has launched eco-friendly packaging that allows online retailers to minimize their impact on the environment with last-mile deliveries. The new packaging will offer the same quality, durability, and security everyone has come to expect with an added benefit of leaving minimal impact on the environment.

In South Africa alone, billions of plastic bags are discarded every year. Clinging to trees, spreading across fences, and filling up gutters. Sadly, the logistics industry also contributes to this single-use plastic wastefulness.

Many single-use plastic items are only used for a few minutes and outlive their users for hundreds of years. Being industry disruptors within the logistics field, the logistics start-up has the privilege to address this pressing concern and pilot their new sustainable paper packaging range, which includes mailing bags, envelopes and packaging tape ensuring tough tamperproof and trusted products.

There is no denying it anymore, single-use plastic is not sustainable. By adding this paper packaging option to last-mile delivery every fulfilment strategy can be environmentally sustainable and change the logistics industry altogether.

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Logistics

Abu Qir Port Project Contract Awarded to DEME

SCN Africa

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DEME, the dredging, offshore, environmental, and infrastructure service specialists, announced that at the end of last year it secured a large dredging contract for the Abu Qir port project in Egypt.

Described as the largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract in history, the project includes the reclamation of 1 000ha of new land, the deepening of the port’s approach channel to 23m and the dredging of a turning basin to 22m. More than 150-million cubic metres will be dredged.

This ambitious megaproject creates land for the expansion and further development of Abu Qir, which boasts an ancient history and is slated to become a bustling economic hub, supplementing nearby Alexandria, in Egypt.

DEME will deploy the world’s most powerful CSD (Cutter Suction Dredger) ‘Spartacus’ on the project.

The project’s preparation has already started, with the main works set to commence in early 2021. The project is set for completion in 2023.

“We are very proud to have secured our largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract to date, and to support the Arab Republic of Egypt in its ambitions to develop a world-class project,” says DEME CEO Luc Vandenbulcke.

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Logistics

Convergence Partners acquire CTrack

SCN Africa

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Technology investor Convergence Partners has entered into an agreement with Inseego to acquire 100% of Ctrack’s operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The transaction will be the maiden investment for its third fund, the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

Ctrack is a telematics software-as-a-service digital infrastructure platform, providing fleet management, insurance and weather telematics solutions, as well as asset tracking products, to its subscribers in Africa and the Middle East.

Convergence Partners says the business’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) and data analytics capabilities are a key component of an emerging sector in Africa and the company is a good fit with CPDIF’s strategy of identifying high-growth market players that build digital infrastructure on the continent.

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