The Final Frontier
Designing an optimal cold chain network to distribute the COVID-19 Vaccine

04 December 2020


After almost a year of rigorous research, the COVID-19 vaccine is finally on the horizon. By early 2021, an approved vaccine could be out for public use. But the real challenge that lies ahead of pharmaceutical companies, government and healthcare departments, and countries at large is ensuring fast, effective and equitable distribution of the vaccine to put an end to this global misery. In this strategic research article, Locus suggests an optimal design for the required supply chain (cold chain) network for vaccine transportation and distribution in the United States.

A two-layer distribution model has been proposed in this paper to determine the optimal location for the warehouses. Locus’ K-Means clustering algorithm has been deployed on the US population data to cluster U.S. zip codes to various regional warehouses. Five mother warehouse locations and 26 regional warehouse locations have been determined along with a one-on-one mapping of every zip code in the United States with the regional warehouses by using the output of the algorithm.

Key Takeaways from the White Paper

In this research article, you get a complete understanding of the ongoing vaccine development initiatives worldwide, the various vaccine distribution plans around the world and the challenges underlying in the process of vaccine distribution, and the gaps in the global cold supply chain. Read on to get real-world data-driven insights on a strategic, well-planned, and seamless vaccine distribution network in the USA.

The world eagerly awaits a COVID-19 Vaccine

As the world awaits the development of a life-saver vaccine against Coronavirus, read about the potentially approved vaccines, their approval status, and the Pharma companies that are working towards the vaccine development.

Non-Stop Sterile Refrigeration and Storage of the Vaccine: A Far Dream

Effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is solely dependent on the global cold supply chain — cold storage warehousing equipment, cold chain vehicles, and a robust distribution system. But, unfortunately, countries around the world lack the refrigeration infrastructure to administer an effective vaccination program.

Vaccine Distribution Readiness Strategies: A Global Outlook

Read about the various vaccine distribution initiatives and strategies that healthcare organizations across different parts of the world have started.

The Logistical Challenges in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

From labs to syringe, and then from syringe to communities, the COVID-19 vaccine has a long way to go. Currently, the global vaccine supply chain has a number of broken links and is not fully capable of handling the storage, shipment, and last-mile distribution of the vaccine.

Cold Chain Network for an Optimized and Safe Vaccine Distribution: Based on Locus’ Network Optimization Algorithm

A two-layer distribution model has been proposed in this paper by logistics experts and data analysts at Locus based on the US population and zip codes. The output from this data has been used to determine the optimal location for the warehouses required to distribute the vaccine across the United States.

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How can Locus help manage your logistics?

  • Locus’ proprietary geocoding engine converts the fuzziest of the addresses into precise geographical coordinates thereby helping your on-ground executives locate addresses easily.
  • Digitize all your operational variables such as fleets, delivery persons, etc to come up with the best route plan every day.
  • Track your orders in real-time with the Locus Live Dashboard. Locus’ last-mile delivery app Locus On The Road (LOTR) helps delivery partners process orders.
  • Visualize and tweak your scheduled plans via three key metrics— geography, time, & vehicle(fleet)—with a birds-eye view of your entire operations.
  • Build your own reports and analyze important parameters that you need to make key decisions.

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