How Owner-Operators May Help Fight COVID-19

refrigerated trucks that could be used to transport COVID-19 vaccines

Three pharmaceutical companies have announced positive trial results from COVID-19 vaccine tests, and the FDA has approved at least one with more approvals expected soon. This means that a nationwide effort to get the first vaccines across the country is already in the works.

Owner-operators may be able to help that with that effort more than you realize.

Shipping the Vaccines

Pfizer, Moderna, and Astrazeneca have all announced positive results from their vaccine trials. The FDA just approved the Pfizer vaccine, a medication that must be distributed at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, making it’s transport a logistical challenge. While Moderna and Astrazeneca don’t need the same storage temperature, getting millions upon millions of doses and supplies across the country presents another challenge in and of itself.

For Pfizer, the shipping and storage conundrum has led to plenty of innovation. They’ve created special mobile storage units for the vaccine. This will allow it to be moved at -22 Fahrenheit (or -30 Celcius) meaning that most refrigerated trailers will be able to handle the shipment. The US distribution plan for Pfizer allows for direct shipment from Kalamazoo, Michigan to point of use.

As other vaccines are approved, they will have their own distribution plans to implement.

How Owner-Operators Can Help

It’s widely known that large fleets and major shippers will be on the frontlines of the shipping and distribution of the vaccines. UPS, FedEx, and DHL have contracts or are on the list of probable carriers. They have the capacity and the manpower to get the job done quickly and effectively. But that doesn’t mean owner-operators and small fleets won’t have a part to play.

In the immediate fight against COVID-19, some owner-operators with refrigerated trailers and capacities may be needed in the final mile. As large fleets bring the vaccines into major metro areas and big cities, they may need help getting doses out to pharmacies and other providers in small towns and rural areas. Owner-operators may be able to fill that gap.

At the same time, there’s a very real possibility that other shipping contracts may get pushed to the side in favor of moving the vaccine across the country as quickly as possible. Those other goods will still be needed. Owner-operators and small fleets may be able to pick up business that might not otherwise have been available. This allows the fleets moving the vaccine to focus on that task, while you pick up new business.

We all have our role to play in the fight against COVID-19. Some owner-operators may be able to have a direct impact on the final stage of delivery. Others may help keep the rest of the country moving forward by shipping other goods and products. We’re all in this together, and we can fight COVID together, too.