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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Ethiopian and Cainiao Partner to Launch Cold Chain Air Freight



Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has partnered with Ethiopian Airlines to launch a special cold chain air freight for the transportation of temperature-controlled medicines from Shenzhen Airport, China's first medical cross-border cold chain facility.

Temperature-controlled medicines will be distributed twice a week from Shenzhen to Africa, and to the rest of the world via Dubai and Addis Ababa.


This is China's first cross-border medical cold chain route to be operated regularly and is certified to transport temperature-controlled medicines including COVID-19 vaccines.


The end-to-end transportation process requires a highly effective cold chain management. During air freight, the entire cold chain cabin is equipped with a temperature control system that monitors the cabin’s temperature in real-time.


As the fourth airport in Mainland China that obtained the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics, Shenzhen Airport is also well-equipped to handle biotechnology products.


The cargo terminal in Ethiopia is outfitted with compartmentalized cold storage facilities with temperatures between -23℃ to 25℃. It occupies an area of 54,000 square metres, with dedicated cool dollies and pharma team.


The facility also features a real-time temperature monitoring system to ensure safe and seamless cold chain logistics for handling temperature-sensitive healthcare products.


Cainiao’s launch of the “Green Channel” Initiative this year to fight the pandemic has helped in the distribution of 250 million pieces of PPEs, including Covid-19 test kits, to medical suppliers in over 150 countries and regions.


In collaboration with its partners, Cainiao has also helped to transport medical relief items for international organizations during the pandemic outbreak.


Founded in 2013, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (“Cainiao”) is a technology company and the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group.

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