- Unitax trusts in a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles for pharmaceutical logistics
- Six Atego trucks and six Sprinter vans with refrigerated box bodies assure the regional supply of vaccines in Brandenburg
- Temperature-sensitive vaccination doses are difficult to transport
Schönefeld/Brandenburg – In pharmaceutical logistics, nothing can be left to chance: the health of the population is bound with great responsibility. The public tender for delivering Covid-19 vaccines in the Brandenburg region was won by Unitax-Pharmalogistik GmbH. The company specialises in handling medicines and has 30 years of experience in maintaining the highest of transport standards using a modern fleet equipped with constant remote monitoring.
The Unitax fleet is made up entirely of powerful Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and currently has six Atego 15-tonne trucks and six Sprinter vans carrying out the daily transport of approved vaccines. All of these vehicles are equipped with a refrigerated body certified in accordance with the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) requirements. These include such things as location and temperature tracking, as well as a fluid-sealed box body with easy-to-clean aluminium flooring.
In the Unitax logistics centre in Schönefeld near Berlin, commissioning of the delivered vaccinations and their subsequent distribution into the Sprinter and Atego vehicles takes place. From here, the valuable freight is transported to around 50 hospitals and residential care homes, as well as to the eleven vaccination centres dotted around the state. The longest route takes the drivers to Elsterwerder 150 kilometres away.
Supplying vaccination centres with six Atego trucks
Unitax puts its trust in the Atego for supplying the vaccination centres. "The vaccines themselves don't take up much space, so there's also plenty of room in the Atego for syringes, disinfectant and other components which are also needed for administering the vaccinations. This equipment is also destined for the mobile vaccination teams," says André Reich in reference to the capacity utilisation of the vehicles.
Transporting vaccination dose boxes is subject to strict temperature-control requirements. Regularly calibrated measuring equipment continuously provides drivers and dispatchers with data and warns them in the event of a sudden rise in temperature. In such cases, the journey has to be terminated because the freight is simply too sensitive. That's why it's essential to have well-trained personnel who take extra care and who have reliable tools at their disposal.
And when it comes to that last point, the Managing Director at Unitax has established a commercial vehicle fleet comprising only Mercedes-Benz vehicles. "If a product or service knows how to impress me, then I'm interested in a collaboration," says Mr Reich. "It's what allows us to be so agile – we have a strong partner by our side in the form of Mercedes-Benz Trucks." This good partnership was further strengthened when the company placed an order with the Mercedes Benz Berlin-Brandenburg commercial vehicle centre for the replacement of six Atego trucks as part of their fleet modernisation. What's more, over the course of the year, a further six 15-tonne Atego models will be replaced. Plus, 15 Actros tractor units will also be replaced by the current model generation equipped with MirrorCam and a complete Safety Package.
Vaccine transport based on a firm sense of conviction
"The task of distributing vaccines is one that we carry out under the firm conviction that we're making an important contribution to containing the corona virus pandemic. We have ethical aspirations to quickly and reliably supply the people of Brandenburg with vaccine doses," says the company's Chief Operating Officer Grit Jedamzik. She is responsible for the entire transport logistics of the pharmaceutical supply chain, from raw materials to intermediary products, from packaging to the finished medicine.
From her perspective, this rather prominent task differs from other transport tasks undertaken by Unitax in one very important point: the situation is currently changing on a weekly basis. This means that André Reich and Grit Jedamzik have to adapt their processes regularly to suit the updated requirements of Germany's Federal Health Ministry. And what if, in addition to the vaccination centres, residential care homes and hospitals, vaccinations were to be administered in a decentralised manner in future? "We can adapt to any challenge. At the top of our list of priorities is punctual delivery. With our experience, we can quickly adapt to any new situation and, thanks to our Mercedes-Benz fleet, we can always provide the right transport solution," explains André Reich.
Founded in 1991 by André Reich, the family-run business is a provider of all services along the pharmaceutical supply chain. Certified in accordance with the Good Distribution Practice (GDP), Good Storage Practice (GSP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, the service provider stores and transports active ingredients and finished medicines for customers in the pharmaceuticals industry. Among the services they offer are temperature-controlled transport, storage in defined climate ranges from +25 degrees Celsius to –20 degrees Celsius, as well as packaging, seals and printing for medicines. From its locations in Schönefeld, Großbeeren and Nürnberg, Unitax supplies pharmacies, clinics and care facilities in Germany with medicines and other ancillary products.