The unprecedented magnitude of the pandemic requires innovative and bold collective action from multinational organizations, governments and industries for inclusive and efficient distribution of safe vaccines. With lives and livelihoods of millions across the globe depending on multiple stakeholders harnessing the power of collective action – whether in the field of health delivery, goods delivery or humanitarian service delivery, the logistics sector and UNICEF will play a central role in vaccine distribution.

Image: UNICEF

Recognizing this need, 18 shipping, airlines and logistics industry CEOs, the Executive Director of UNICEF, and the President of the World Economic Forum, have signed a charter supporting UNICEF and COVAX countries in four main ways:

  1. Engage with governments, customs authorities, UNICEF and other UN Agencies, and NGOs
  2. Participate in operational asset and competency sharing
  3. Assign expertise to support governments, where requested by UNICEF
  4. Support UNICEF’s Global Vaccine Logistics Distribution, for COVID-19, with prioritization and solutions for international and in country distribution of vaccines and related supplies on behalf of the COVAX facility

Donation will support the education of 560,000+ students

KUWAIT – December 21, 2020 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, and Aflatoun International, an NGO specializing in life skills and financial education around the world, announced a partnership that will increase educational opportunities for more than 560,000 students, with at least half of the opportunities created for female students.

Agility’s support will fund the development and translation of Aflatoun’s “AflaYouth” financial literacy and entrepreneurship curriculum into Arabic, French and Spanish. “AflaYouth”gives students, aged 16-24, access to both online and in-person training, support, mentoring and learning during their transition into the formal labor market, or as they launch an entrepreneurial career. Aflatoun will also develop teachers’ training manuals for the curriculum.

AflaYouth”  will be provided to Aflatoun’s network of 45 NGOs in 25 countries in the Middle East, North and West Africa, and Central and South America. Trainings on the curriculum will be provided to NGO partners and local educators, who in turn educate underprivileged youth in the communities where they operate. Trainings will take place both in-person and online, giving Aflatoun the flexibility to reach partners around the world.

Frank Clary, Agility’s Vice President for Sustainability, said: “Agility’s support means that Aflatoun’s partner NGOs will be able to implement educational programming for refugees and underprivileged local populations in a context and language that’s relevant to them. Since 2014, Agility has supported the education of 68,000 students around the world and this partnership with Aflatoun gives even more students the opportunity to have an education. Aflatoun empowers local communities to create development opportunities through education.”

Roeland Monasch, CEO of Afltaoun International, said: “The skills taught in this program are especially relevant in this time of economic uncertainties. One of the strengths of our programs is that they can be contextualized to local needs and circumstances. Therefore, it has become even more relevant that our AflaYouth Books will be translated into other languages. Thus, we can deliver our-quality curricula to more young people across different regions of the world. We hope that this project is a great start of a long-term partnership with such a successful company as Agility.”

Agility has a globally recognized sustainability program, covering humanitarian logistics, community volunteerism, fair labor and environmental sustainability. Agility is part of the FTSE4Good Index Series, a resource used by investors to identify companies around the world with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Agility is also ranked in the top 10% of all companies and the top 4% of the logistics industry for overall sustainability performance by EcoVadis. Since 2006, Agility has completed more than 1,800 community education, health or environment projects affecting more than one million people in 80 countries.  

  • Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel among early freight forwarder partners onboarded to deliver billions of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses by end of 2021
  • The four companies involved in the Hope Consortium cover 80% of the world’s countries and transported over four million tons of air freight cargo globally last year

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 14 December 2020: The newly-launched Hope Consortium, a UAE-based public-private partnership, has bolstered its distribution reach following a strategic agreement with leading international freight forwarders. The latest consortium partners, which include Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel, will help address the different steps of the logistical challenge, including ‘last mile’, with a capacity of billions of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

Spearheaded by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the Hope Consortium appointed these global transport companies based on their expert abilities and reach to safely and effectively deliver vaccine doses under cold and ultra-cold conditions (temperature bands 2-8° C, -20° C and -80° C) between transportation hubs, warehouses, medical facilities and other final destinations in over 170 countries.

Representing the top global and Abu Dhabi supply chain solution players, the Hope Consortium consists of Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports, Rafed – the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ and Switzerland’s award-winning SkyCell, which develops next-generation, temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Hope Consortium’s success relies upon the collaboration of public sector entities and leading private sector companies across the global logistics supply chain. The addition of Agility, Aramex, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel provides solid support and expertise to address multiple challenges, including the ‘last mile’ vaccine distribution challenge. This partnership demonstrates the unrivalled global strength of Hope Consortium.”

“The Abu Dhabi-backed Hope Consortium has quickly and effectively garnered the attention and support of the world’s leading logistics players. Today’s announcement is testament to the sector’s ambition to overcome the complex challenges inherent in transporting sensitive cargo of such scale across varying geographies around the world.”

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, added: “The inclusion of leading freight forwarders will further strengthen the Hope Consortium proposition and elevate our global capabilities. Etihad Cargo’s strong existing partnerships with these entities, coupled with our experience in the shipment of temperature-sensitive cargo, will streamline our approach and add further confidence to a visionary collaboration. We are proud to be one of the first airlines to embark on a project of this scale.”

Agility is a global logistics company with operations in more than 100 countries. It is one of the world’s top freight forwarding and contract logistics providers, and a leader and investor in technology to enhance supply chain efficiency. Agility is a market-leader in emerging markets and one of the largest private owners and developers of warehousing and light industrial parks in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with more than 3 million square metres of warehousing and light industrial-facilities.

H.E. Khadim Al Darei, Chairman of Agility Abu Dhabi, said: “As a strategic partner, Agility Abu Dhabi is committed to help drive Abu Dhabi’s growth vision. During the early months of COVID-19, Agility supported projects related to food security and medical equipment supply chain. Through the Hope Consortium, we look forward to utilizing our global logistics footprint and warehousing network to make a difference on a global scale.”

Tarek Sultan, Agility Vice Chairman, said: “SARS-CoV2 vaccine logistics will demand specialized handling expertise for pharma, cold-chain infrastructure and storage, an emerging markets footprint and the digital capabilities to manage advanced tracking and visibility – all areas Agility has made long-term investments in. Agility is honoured to be a global contributor to the Hope Consortium and eager to help tackle one of the great logistics challenges of our time.”

Aramex is a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions. The Company’s breadth of services, including International and Domestic Express Delivery, Freight-forwarding, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, positions it as an important player offering innovative and technology-enabled logistics solutions for the healthcare sector.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of Aramex, expressed hisdeep appreciation for the efforts exerted by the wise leadership in combating the pandemic and utilising Abu Dhabi’s leading position as a trade and logistics hub to best serve humanity. He said, “Aramex is proud to be a trusted partner playing a leading role in the worldwide distribution of vital SARS-CoV2 vaccines. Our global operating network across over 65 countries, expertise in providing logistics and transportation solution across the value chain – from laboratories to healthcare facility – and our state-of-the-art facilities – from warehouse to van fleets – puts us in a very strong position to be a reliable partner in the Hope Consortium.  Our part of the promise is to help deliver a portion of the billions of vaccine doses to their target populations on-time and in accordance with the world’s most stringent health and safety standards.”

Bashar Obeid, CEO of Aramex, said: “We are privileged to be supporting health authorities in the global fight against COVID-19. Aramex has the operational capabilities and expertise underpinned by technology-enabled infrastructure and skilled manpower to carry out this immense and crucial endeavour in an efficient and timely manner. Additionally, we have been investing to ramp up our last mile infrastructure to include temperature-controlled warehouses and vehicles to ensure safe handling of pharmaceuticals including vaccines. We are fully committed to this partnership and we look forward to working alongside our partners and contributing collectively to achieving the UAE’s aim to responsibly supply the vaccine globally.”

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, headquartered in Germany, has a global network of around 500 branches in more than 173 countries. The full-service logistics provider has a 150-year history specializing in supply chain solutions for key industries, of which Healthcare Logistics is one of its leading vertical solutions.

Reiner Heiken, Chief Executive Officer, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, said: “The pharma and healthcare industry has never been more important than it is today. To ensure that vital products such as vaccines and other life-saving pharmaceutical products are handled with the highest integrity and safety, we have globally established Hellmann Healthcare Logistics.  People, processes, infrastructure and digitalization are the foundation of our healthcare network and enable us to offer compliant, transparent and innovative transportation and distribution solutions. Combining a risk-based approach and integration of secured digital solutions into supply chains, Hellmann offers qualified end-to-end transport with capabilities of real-time and proactive intervention.”

He added: “In the Middle East, Hellmann Healthcare Logistics gained a leadership position by operating a proven-and-tested hub concept for more than a decade, using UAE healthcare warehouses as distribution platforms for the region.  Our specialized regional and global experience will be complimentary to the strength of the Hope Consortium partners. Together we stand ready to support the UAE and Abu Dhabi Governments in leading efforts for the global distribution of the SARS-CoV2 vaccines.”

With over 78,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world’s leading logistics companies. In 2019, the company moved 4.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) by sea freight, 1.6 million tons by air freight, operated 32,500 truck departures a day in Europe and managed 11.4 million square metres of logistics and warehousing space.

Robert Coyle, Senior Vice President, Pharma & Healthcare Strategy, at Kuehne+Nagel, noted: “As one of the global leaders in Pharma & Healthcare logistics, Kuehne+Nagel have the capacity, the ability and responsibility to facilitate the global distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and supporting materials with global stakeholders. By joining Hope Consortium, we bring in the Kuehne+Nagel CEIV accredited global network of cool facilities, long-standing experience of large vaccine shipments and dedicated Pharma and Healthcare specialists that will ensure fast, safe and secure transportation. We will leverage our unique strengths in the vaccine supply chain and facilitate vaccine availability across the world. We will make it happen.”

This signing will be the first of many to come to ensure that no location is too far and no logistical challenge too difficult for the safe and effective delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses. Between them, the four companies involved in the Hope Consortium cover 80% of the world’s countries and transported over four million tons of air freight cargo globally last year.

  • Companies across virtually every goods-based industry have been re-examining their reliance on China, which accounts for roughly 28% of global manufacturing and is a leading source of critical commodities such as rare earth minerals and ingredients for pharmaceutical products.
  • Outward migration of production was underway before the pandemic because tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China had increased supply chain costs by up to 10% for as much as 40% of companies sourcing in China, according to Gartner.
  • In one recent survey, one-quarter of businesses sourcing from China indicated plans to transition all or some of their operations to other countries over the next three years. In a Gartner survey, an even higher percentage – 33% — said they intend to pull manufacturing or sourcing out of China in the next two to three years.
  • Agility’s take is that uprooting from China is not as easy as it seems. Forty years after it began modernizing, China today holds advantages available nowhere else: unmatched scale; abundant skilled and unskilled labor; sophisticated automation, engineering and sciences; world-class infrastructure and logistics; closely synchronized and integrated supplier networks both in-country and across Asia.
  • Twenty-five years ago, leaving China meant leaving a low-cost manufacturing center. Today, for some multi-nationals, it would mean giving up on the world’s largest consumer market and an economy growing at twice the rate of the United States before the COVID-19 crisis.

ABIDJAN, Cote D’Ivoire – Dec. 9, 2020 – Maersk has chosen the new Agility warehouse project in Abidjan to house its new storage, deconsolidation and distribution facility in the economic capital of Cote D’Ivoire.

The newly opened 5,000 SQM facility is designed to handle 3,900 pallet positions and meet the end-to-end requirements of Maersk’s global customers, including those in Retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, and Technology. 

Thomas Theeuwes, Maersk Central West Africa Managing Director, said: “Maersk has a strong presence in the West Africa market, and we are continuously reviewing our value proposition to ensure we offer competitive end-to-end solutions. The Agility warehouses provide the standard of infrastructure that enables Maersk to offer a consistent experience for both global and local customers, assuring them the same reliable service, security and safety being provided in this facility is on a par with what customers experience in Maersk facilities within Europe and North America.” 

The Agility warehouses are located on the main highway from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro, which leads to neighboring Mali and is strategically situated adjacent to the new PK24 industrial zone of Abidjan.

Agility is funding and developing 250,000 SQM of warehousing on the site in what will become a center of excellence for warehousing in the region to support businesses operating in and from Cote D’Ivoire. The Agility warehouses provide the essential infrastructure required for both multinational companies and local businesses in the storage, distribution, packaging, processing and light manufacturing sectors.

Geoffrey White, CEO Agility Africa, said: “We are delighted that Maersk decided to lease warehouse space in the new Agility facility in Abidjan.  Agility is funding and developing a network of warehouse parks across Africa to enable companies to rapidly and easily enter or expand in the African market.

Agility provides warehouses that are move-in ready, enabling fast deployment, flexibility and reduced capital commitments for our customers. The provision of secure, ready-built, quality, warehouses with consistent power and IT connectivity in the Abidjan market is a true enabler of growth and prosperity in Cote D’Ivoire.” 

Development team’s award reflects focus on apps for small, medium-sized businesses  

HYDERABAD – December 9, 2020 – Agility E-Services (AES), the development arm of leading global logistics provider Agility, was selected as one of Hyderabad’s Top IT/ITeS Exporters in the SME category at the 28th Annual Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) Innovation Summit Awards.

The HYSEA and Software Technology Parks of India (STPI-H) recognize the performance of IT and ITeS (Information Technology-enabled Services) companies operating in Hyderabad during the HYSEA Annual Summit. HYSEA presented this award to Agility E-Services on November 5 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

“We are pleased to receive this honor from HYSEA and STPI-H,” said Suresh Kumar Venkat, Agility E-Services VP IT – Enterprise Applications IT Security & Governance. “It is an affirmation of the innovative work we do for our partners worldwide. This acclaim continues a streak of awards AES has received recently because of our commitment to excellence.”

AES develops IT solutions and applications for freight forwarding, warehousing, customs, transportation, enterprise content management and database administration.

 Agility E-Services’ development of Transfora, Agility’s business-process platform, contributed to its win.

Venkat said Transfora has helped streamline Agility processes and was built so that employees can create build process workflows without coding or requiring formal IT development support.

“Transfora improves productivity, accelerates decision making, lowers cost and streamlines business processes and operations through automation,” Venkat said. 

HYSEA, an association with 300 registered members, is an industry initiative and non-profit organization that brings together various IT and ITeS organizations under one umbrella to network, share knowledge and work closely with the government and other industry stakeholders for business growth, social development and economic prosperity.