DHL’s Control Tower solution combines technology and logistics expertise to increase control and minimize risk in vaccine supply chain
DHL Supply Chain, the Americas leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has deployed a Control Tower solution to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines within North America and internationally. The company will provide customized technology and a dedicated team of experts to perform key logistics functions around-the-clock and increase visibility of the supply chain from the moment when orders are received through to the final delivery. The first shipments were processed, with DHL Supply Chain providing support in planning and allocating orders to the major parcel carriers charged with delivering the first waves of vaccine doses in the U.S. and monitoring each individual order through to their final destination.
The solution leverages the DHL Supply Chain’s Transportation Management System – a single technology platform that brings together the multiple applications and processes needed to steer a company’s transportation operation – to allow the vaccine manufacturer to benefit from the advanced technology and capabilities of a global logistics leader. It includes customized features developed specifically for the customer, as well as access to proprietary tools such as MySupplyChain, which provides greater control over orders and real-time visibility on shipments in transit.
Another key feature of the Control Tower is a dedicated team based at the DHL Supply Chain’s Life Science Transportation Center of Excellence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, The Control Tower will host experts in transportation planning, operations engineering, carrier management and customer service who review the systems and data to track performance and identify optimization opportunities, as well as monitoring for exceptions during the end-to-end process.
“The urgency, sensitivity, scale and complexity of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort – against the backdrop of a market in which transportation capacity is severely constrained – creates a large number of risks that need to be carefully managed. Much of the attention is on the physical transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine, but there is a huge effort needed behind-the-scenes to manage the data and to orchestrate and optimize the whole process,” said Jim Monkmeyer, President of Transportation, DHL Supply Chain North America. “’Our Managed Transportation service removes many of the boundaries to a successful distribution of the vaccine. The combination of cutting edge technology and people with extensive experience in different disciplines of supply chain management is also a great demonstration of the value that Lead Logistics Partners can bring to support this vital effort.”
Globally, DHL is well positioned to support the distribution of the different vaccines that are expected to enter into broader circulation in 2021. The company employs over 9,000 certified life sciences and healthcare specialists and has about 140 life science graded facilities and over 100 air freight life science and healthcare competence centers. DHL’s Express and Global Forwarding divisions have already been engaged in the physical distribution of some of the first vaccine shipments internationally. DHL Supply Chain’s Control Tower solution in North America is also scheduled to support the international distribution of the vaccine out of the United States as other countries within the region authorize its use.