Cathay Pacific Cargo has developed a new solution to help distribute Covid-19 vaccines across the globe.

    ‘Ultra Track’ is described by the company as a “next-generation track-and-trace system”. It monitors information including temperature, GPS location and humidity using low-energy Bluetooth readers.

    This gives shippers and forwarders near real time visibility to ensures vaccines remain within their transportation temperature ranges, Cathay Pacific Cargo said.

    Shipments using Ultra Track will also be monitored by the company’s newly-established Operations Control Centre, which is based in Hong Kong. It is staffed 24/7, with the team able to instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff to take proactive steps to ensure the various storage requirements of vaccines are maintained.

    “Ultra Track will allow forwarders to monitor the condition of their vaccine shipments in near real time. It will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, and we will be offering the service free of charge for any Covid-19 vaccine shipments,” said Cathay Pacific’s director cargo Tom Owen.

    “With our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen.”

    Owen also noted the recent recertification of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation at Hong Kong International Airport, and said the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal has been expanded to be able to handle more than seven million doses of vaccine a day.

    “There will be more cold storage coming online soon. This new cold room storage will be able to handle a further 1.6 million doses,” he said.

    “With the vaccine being so valuable and in such limited supply, it’s critical that we get it right at every stage of the journey. We are confident about meeting the challenge, and we stand ready to play our part.”