FedEx says rush to ship vaccine this week shouldn't affect holiday deliveries
Delivery service FedEx says it's working closely with federal health officials to begin delivering the first shipments of the coronavirus vaccine and doesn't expect those shipments to cause any delays during the busy Christmas season.
According to a statement from the company, FedEx will use separate parcel services to deliver the vaccines and to handle the seasonal influx of online orders.
"At FedEx we have two networks for parcel delivery – FedEx Express with time-definite and cold chain capabilities which serves our healthcare customers and is ready to ship vaccines, as well as FedEx Ground, our ground network which predominantly handles the surge of e-commerce shipments during our holiday peak effort," the statement read in part. "The distinction means that each will have the dedicated resources they need to deliver quickly and safely."
Health workers are expected to be among the first in the state of Louisiana to receive the vaccine. Those shipments are expected as early as Monday.
You can read FedEx's full statement below.
“FedEx is ready to ship vaccines this holiday season. At FedEx we have two networks for parcel delivery – FedEx Express with time-definite and cold chain capabilities which serves our healthcare customers and is ready to ship vaccines, as well as FedEx Ground, our ground network which predominantly handles the surge of e-commerce shipments during our holiday peak effort. The distinction means that each will have the dedicated resources they need to deliver quickly and safely.
As healthcare companies develop and prepare to distribute vaccines against COVID-19, we recognize that shipping COVID-19 vaccines is complex and critical work with many moving parts. FedEx is working closely with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD), and our healthcare customers on vaccine distribution plans as a part of HHS’ Operation Warp Speed. We are confident in our strong relationships with our healthcare distribution customers as we work through the preparation and prioritization of these deliveries.
The FedEx network is well positioned to handle these shipments with our temperature-control solutions, real-time monitoring capabilities and a dedicated healthcare team to support the customs brokerage and express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments around the world. Our healthcare team is well-versed in the transportation and handling of vaccine shipments. For more than a decade we have shipped flu vaccines each flu season.
With the largest cargo fleet of airplanes, FedEx Express has the flexibility and customized solutions, including charter flights, refrigerator trucks and trailers, warehousing, thermal blankets, and temperature-controlled containers, to help safely move temperature sensitive shipments, such as vaccines and other bioscience shipments, around the world.
Over the past three years, we have added more than 10 secure cold chain facilities across our global network. At present we have more than 90 cold chain facilities across the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe and plan to open additional facilities in coming years. To complement our existing cold chain capabilities in support of the vaccine distribution, we have added ultra-cold freezers, and enhanced our freezer and refrigerator capacity at strategic locations throughout the country over the past several months.
Working with the FAA, FedEx has significantly increased our capability to carry dry ice aboard our cargo aircraft, allowing us to service more healthcare shippers. On average, we now transport approximately 500,000 dry ice shipments a month.
In addition to the vaccines themselves, FedEx is also working closely with the healthcare industry to transport other supplies critical to the distribution of vaccines such as vials, syringes, and personal protective equipment.”