By Chris Wack
United Parcel Service said Tuesday that it was making service enhancements to aid in the massive distribution efforts for Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months.
The shipping company said that as part of these enhancements, UPS Healthcare now can produce up to 1,200 pounds of dry ice per hour in its U.S. facilities to support the storage and transportation of cold chain products, such as frozen vaccines, in accordance with manufacturer storage requirements.
The increased production also allows UPS to make dry ice available for U.S. and Canadian hospitals, clinics and other points of care requiring dry ice to store vaccines locally. Dry ice will be sourced at UPS Worldport and can be available next day.
UPS said a major spike in demand is causing logistics providers to plan for what some analysts fear may be a dry ice shortage, as pharmaceutical companies strategize getting hundreds of millions of their vaccine doses safely to communities around the U.S. and internationally.
In addition to dry ice production, UPS also will launch, in collaboration with Stirling Ultracold, a joint effort to provide portable ultra-low temperature freezers. These portable freezers will be distributed and used in smaller point-of-care facilities requiring a more permanent solution for longer term freezer storage. UPS will be working with Stirling to offer the Stirling ULT25 and Undercounter Model SU105 to thermally protect critical vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures ranging anywhere from -20 degrees Celsius to -80 degrees Celsius.
UPS Healthcare operates 128 facilities in 32 countries, and services include inventory management, temperature-controlled packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, labs and clinical trial logistics.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires