Logistics firms expand as vaccine nears

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    The possible availability of vaccines against the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) is prompting logistics providers to expand their operations.

    Zuellig Pharma said in a statement it will significantly expand its cold storage warehouse capacity in the Philippines and key regional markets over the next 12 months as the company prepares for the anticipated storage and distribution demands of the vaccines.

    In a separate statement, Centro Nippon Fruehauf Cooltech Inc. (CFCI) said it is studying the possible development of ref vans that can transport the vaccines once they become available in the country.

    In the Philippines, Zuelling has capacity to store products at -20 degrees Celsius and will add 10 medical grade freezers to augment its existing capacity in -80 degrees Celsius storage.

    It will also add five new cold chambers in the Philippines including three in Manila, and one each in Cebu and Davao respectively from January 2021.

    The company also saw the opening of the new Metro Drug national distribution center in September this year located in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

    The 25,000-square meter (sq.m.) facility is equipped with automation and energy efficient functionalities, including 10,000 sq.m. of solar panels, LED intelligent lighting and a water-chilled cooling system. It is also the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified warehouse.

    CFCI is in consultation with partner Nippon Fruehauf Ltd., one of the biggest truck body builders and wing van manufacturers in Japan, to possibly develop the ref vans for Covid 19 vaccine logistics as it is now capable to customize ref vans to match the customers’ operations CFCI is manufacturing insulated sandwich panels which will be used to assemble dry vans (without a ref system) and temperature-controlled vans or ref vans like chillers and freezers. It has started manufacturing in its new one-hectare plant at the Sterling Technopark in Carmona, Cavite this year.

    CFCI said it has now developed ref vans for Isuzu, Hino, Fuso, Foton, Hyundai and Kia and re-engineered our ref vans to handle the ref system of either Mit-Air, Denso, Carrier and Sanden. — Irma Isip