September 8, 2021

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions takes over vaccine logistics in France

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is one of Europe's leading logistics service providers for thermosensitive pharmaceutical and medical technology products in the healthcare sector and a proven specialist in fine distribution - from our warehouses in Europe, we serve various distribution channels to deliver medical products to hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, laboratories, patients or wholesalers and distributors.

Depending on requirements, we store products in the temperature ranges -80 °C, -20 °C, +15 to +25 °C or +2 to +8 °C and ensure compliance with the legal framework and manufacturer requirements through numerous control mechanisms.

As part of a call for tenders by the French Ministry of Health, we qualified as a service provider for the distribution of vaccines was used as part of the pandemic response in France. "We have years of experience in precisely this area," emphasizes Emeric Crepin, Managing Director at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions France.

From our pharmaceutical logistics center in Chanteloup-en-Brie, some 30 kilometers east of Paris, we distribute products in all temperature ranges for international pharmaceutical customers on a daily basis.

Emeric Crepin
Managing Director at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions France

"From our pharmaceutical logistics center in Chanteloup-en-Brie, some 30 kilometers east of Paris, we distribute products in all temperature ranges for international pharmaceutical customers on a daily basis. We were also able to make it clear that Arvato stands for a very high level of quality and has a financially solid parent company in Bertelsmann behind it." French Health Minister Olivier Véran, who visited the site before, was also able to see the high quality and processes for himself.

For the transport of this kind of products, we rely on a transport network to which more than 150 carriers are connected in order to access the most suitable transport solution (adapted to the product, the destination and the delivery time).

In the case of the Biontech/Pfizer product, the vaccine had to reach its destination, and thus the patient, within 11 hours of removal from -80-degree super freezers. "Due to the optimal transport network and proximity to the airports in Paris, we were able to provide the vaccine as quickly and as safely as possible throughout the country," explains Nicolas Vermoux, General Manager Healthcare at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions France.

Due to the optimal transport network and proximity to the airports in Paris, we were able to provide the vaccine as quickly and as safely as possible throughout the country.

Nicolas Virmoux
General Manager Healthcare at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions France

Due to the geographically large area we had to serve in France, we relied on airplanes for some destinations to deliver the vaccine on time. We used a variety of carriers for vaccine distribution. As Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, we contracted Bertelsmann's aircraft as well as those of other carriers.

The aircraft are qualified for transport - as are all the means of transport used - and have the right equipment and personnel if required.

Ministry of Health determined distribution to recipients

Emeric Crepin: "We handled the distribution of all vaccines destined for France and ordered from the relevant manufacturers by the responsible EU Commission as part of the European Vaccine Initiative. While the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine was distributed by four other service providers, storage and shipping of the Moderna vaccine was handled only by Arvato Supply Chain Solutions. “

In addition to vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna, the European Commission had agreements with four other pharmaceutical companies, (AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Curevac) to purchase potential vaccines against COVID-19 once they have passed clinical trials and have been authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Nicolas Virmoux says, "However, vaccination centers, hospitals or nursing homes could not request vaccines directly from us. When and where the vaccines were to be delivered was determined by our customer, the French Ministry of Health. We followed their plans in our daily delivery processes and distributed the vaccines to the recipients on schedule."