Redefining demand for the COVID-19 vaccine

All supply chains have the capability to deal with some uncertainty in demand and supply. Then again, not knowing the exact point of manufacture or the geopolitics of vaccine approvals, adds a level of complexity that supply chains have never encountered.

One thing is certain though. Every single human being on the planet needs access to the vaccine. According to the WHO, about 10 billion doses need to be delivered to the global population from Africa to the Arctic.

This eventuality defined the Maersk approach. For several months now, we have collaborated with local Governments and Ministries of Health to understand their existing capacity to deploy the vaccine at the hospital and clinic level. We've then worked backwards from the patient to design a just-in-time delivery model. Our driving principle is to avoid waste by preventing local systems from getting overloaded.

Going to places no one has gone before

We're committed to using our resources in any way that is needed to deliver the vaccine to locations like low income countries where infrastructure is lacking. We work with 343 ports and terminals, each of which is equipped with Reefer plugs. Also, every one of our Reefer containers is GDP compliant. This means that wherever there's a Reefer plug, we can offer the local community a cold chain storage facility.

Going to Places

What’s the right mode of transportation?

Today, the world is leaning towards Air transportation because of its agility. When vaccine volumes shoot up, cargo airlines will turn to their commercial passenger counterparts, as they always have, to deliver on their promises.

The way we see it, the reality of the task at hand and our customer's needs will define which mode of transportation we use. Our strategy will always be to correctly modulate the flows within a supply chain by picking the right mode of transport for the right time.

For instance, for customers looking to serve cross-continental locations where infrastructure is lacking, shipping could play a key role. In areas within the same continental land mass, possibly going through a second phase of the pandemic, air will be our preferred mode of transportation.

Whats the right

Efficient Air Freight solutions

When speed and economic feasibility need to go hand in hand, Air Freight becomes an important piece of the logistics puzzle. We use it strategically to time our customers’ deliveries. Not just when they need quicker response times, but also when reducing inventory is a priority. Needless to say, for the critical transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are committed to using our global Air Freight network to ensure fast and efficient deliveries.

Air Freight

Stress tested flow control

There's more to vaccine distribution than simply managing the cold chain. Multiple supply chains carrying syringes and PPE required to administer the vaccine, need to work in harmony.

For every pallet of vaccine, a 40-foot container of syringes needs to be transported just to make sure that all vaccines can be injected. Scale this up to 10 billion doses, and we could find ourselves in the middle of an enormous flow control challenge.

Here's where our end-to-end capabilities come in. Not only do we have the depth of expertise and the width of resources to synchronise systems and processes, we're doing everything we can to develop robust flow control plans for our partners. One way in which we strengthen our plans is by rigorously stress testing non-live cargo. This helps us not only to anticipate problems but also to experience them and find practical, economically viable, and scalable solutions.

Stress Tested

Guarding against a people problem

At Maersk we've always believed that there's no such thing as too much care. So, when we started preparing for the COVID -19 vaccine distribution, we brought some of our top talent together. It soon became clear to us that any solution we envisioned needed to be quick to implement and yet work in the long haul.

A completely novel solution could create new challenges like the need to train a large number of stakeholders within a very small timeframe. On the other hand, utilising our tried and tested network in innovative ways, would enable us to do what we do best and help the world heal.


Meet our experts

To get a deeper understanding of our refrigerated transportation or the complex operations behind high-risk logistics contact our experts.

Robin Townley, Head of Special Project Logistics
Robin Townley
Head of Special Project Logistics
Hristo Marinov Petkov, Global Vertical Head of Pharma reefer & Special Cargo
Hristo Marinov Petkov
Global Vertical Head of Pharma Reefer & Special Cargo

Together, success comes easier

Discover how we can bring your Pharma knowledge, our Logistics expertise, and your stakeholders’ capabilities together to get ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis with Maersk Flow during these uncertain times

The global humanitarian and economic crisis following the Coronavirus outbreak will have extraordinary consequences across geographies and industries. Currently, limited data is available on the impact on Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) which face several challenges specific to their size, set-up, and liquidity. Without processes and systems that help gain visibility and control over their supply chains, these companies will now, more than ever before, struggle to reign in their logistics operations.

Maersk Flow offers a digital platform that closes the gap between visibility and action, effectively saving time, effort, and money for our users and supporting their operations through times of usual business as well as crises.

Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis with Maersk Flow


在今天这个高度互联的全球市场上,新冠肺炎疫情对供应链造成的大规模摧毁让很多人始料不及。 但是,如果企业们能够引进有效减少疫情对业务影响的措施,现在还为时不晚。


马士基中国公司在新冠疫情爆发之初,就立即成立了由各职能领域的专家组成的高级执行团队。 他们遍布马士基业务足迹的方方面面,确保业务持续稳定,让我们的客户在每一步对事态的重大发展都了然于心。 我们的主要客户团队从一开始,就积极与客户携手,针对客户的具体情况执行业务持续性计划 (Business Continuity Plans, BCP)。

马士基中国公司所经受的考验为本组织余下的成员提供良好借鉴,让他们能够以物流活动的动态为重,并着重关注与利益相关者相关的信息,包括政府法规、工厂和供应商的生产状态、承运商时间表和运力信息更新,以及空运和铁路运营状态。 业务持续是关键。