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Import Services / Case Study

Indian Vaccine Imports

Finding lower cost medical supplies for global health programs often require utilizing foreign supplies of key vaccines. However, prior to usage these vaccines must be tested and approved by certified labs. To quickly implement a lower costing measles program, a US based global health team had to rapidly obtain samples from India, clear and deliver them to the lab in Seattle. GTS managed precision door-to-door routing from the moment the vaccines were available. In spite of unforeseen delays with the shipment availability date, GTS was able to keep the process on schedule for field distribution.

Challenges:

  •      Perishables requiring constant dry ice application
  •      Rapid transit times required
  •      Expedient customs clearance and release essential.

Solution:

With airfreight services lacking in the Indian city of origin, GTS pre-planned a routing plan that included an exclusive driver from the laboratory to the Bombay airport. GTS confirmed the refrigeration of the perishable vaccines throughout their journey: from Bombay to Amsterdam, and then Seattle. GTS prearranged import customs paperwork to the greatest extent possible. Arrival in Seattle was planned for a weekday, where the most expeditious clearance and release turnarounds are common. However, just prior to movement execution, a potential delay of three days arouse; this was especially troublesome due to the temperature sensitive vaccine, which would be unable to be consistently chilled over the weekend. Rather than waiting for a more convenient arrival time, GTS mobilized staff and were able to re-ice in the carrier’s Seattle freight facility.  The next business the cargo cleared customs and was moved to the lab for approval tests. 

Results:

GTS’ pre-planning and quick reaction to ground events countered a delay that would potentially spoil the project. The integrity of the perishables remained intact, the samples entered the lab on time, and the program remained on target with its aggressive timeline to approve and launch the vaccine. GTS is often complimented on our close control and communication in shipment management; this approach yields untold results when customer’s cargo is so valuable.

Services Utilized:

  •      Air Freight
  •      Import Customs Clearance Services
  •      Perishable Shipment Management