Cainiao, a Chinese logistic arm of Alibaba Group, stepped into partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to launch cold chain cargo operations for the transportation of temperature-sensitive medicines from China to the world.

Cainiao announced that the new air freight flights would be operated regularly twice a week from Shenzhen International Airport (SZX) to the Africa region and the rest of the world via Dubai International Airport (DBX) and Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD). The launch of the new Cainiao cargo service while cooperating with Ethiopian Airlines, mostly focuses on the COVID-19 vaccine transportation as soon as it is ready to be delivered.

On December 3, 2020, presenting the partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, James Zhao, the General Manager of Cainiao International Supply Chain, outlined that the global logistic network of Cainiao included over 200 destinations. The launch of cold chain cargo service bolstered the air carrier‘s global logistics capabilities and enabled a “one-stop solution for the global distribution of medical products such as the COVID-19 vaccine“, according to Zhao.

“In anticipation of the COVID-19 vaccine release, we will be at the forefront to further discharge our responsibility in the distribution of the vaccine across the globe,” commented Tewolde GebreMariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Group.

Cainiao stated that SZX airport was the first China’s cross-border medical cold chain facility equipped to handle medicine goods and store them at low temperatures following recommendations issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As the specific cold chain transportation process requires the operators to assure highly effective temperature management, during such cargo operations the whole cold chain cabin must be equipped with a particular temperature monitoring system that supervises temperature in the cabin in real-time and preserves it from sudden changes.