Truck drivers, once again, answer the call

December 16, 2020

SJ Munoz

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As they have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, professional truck drivers are again helping the country when it’s needed most.

Distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine began in earnest this week across America with UPS and FedEx tabbed to handle transportation.

UPS will deliver the vaccine to states designated by Pfizer Inc., based on orders received by Operation Warp Speed and CDC officials. The vaccines, originate from storage sites in Michigan and Wisconsin and will be transported to UPS Worldport facilities in Louisville, Ky., before being shipped by next day air to hospitals, clinics, medical facilities and other select destinations.

“Vaccine distribution is a key part of moving our world forward by delivering what matters,” said Carol Tomé, CEO of UPS. “We have dedicated and hardworking people around the world who have been trained to store, handle, transport and deliver vaccines. We’re pleased to support our healthcare partners with smart, efficient logistics for these vaccines that will protect communities and save lives.”

UPS has spent months strategizing with Operation Warp Speed officials and healthcare customers to provide efficient vaccine logistics, according to Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare.

“This is the moment of truth we’ve been waiting for at UPS,” Wheeler said. “The time has arrived to put the plan into action.”

FedEx will move vaccines to dosing centers utilizing the company’s FedEx Priority Overnight service. Distribution will be supported by FedEx Priority Alert and be balanced among major cargo carriers. In addition, FedEx will continue working closely with healthcare customers for additional shipments and transportation of vaccine-related supplies.

“I am immensely proud of our dedicated team members who continue to go above and beyond to help ensure the safe movement of these critical COVID-19 vaccines, especially during our busiest holiday shipping season to date,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corp. “This is among the most important work in the history of our company, and we’re honored to be a part of the effort to help end this pandemic. This is who we are and what we do at FedEx.”

The FedEx network is comprised of more than 5,000 facilities, 670 aircraft, more than 180,000 vehicles and nearly 600,000 team members worldwide. UPS Healthcare operates 128 facilities in 32 countries. LL

SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.