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DHL's Global Cincinnati Hub Playing Key Role In Vaccine Distribution

The COVID-19 vaccine DHL is shipping to Central And South America transfers through CVG.
The COVID-19 vaccine DHL is shipping to Central And South America transfers through CVG.

The overnight shift at DHL has gotten even busier at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport as workers ship the COVID-19 vaccine to Central and South America.

Company-wide, DHL Express has added thousands of employees and more flights, in part because of the shipments. All vaccine cargo for the Americas goes through its global hub at CVG.

Shipments to Mexico began in December. CEO for the Americas Mike Parra told WVXU the company has also gotten the vaccine to Chile, Costa Rica and Panama. Ten shipments went to Europe and DHL says some were sent to the Middle East.

"So our employees there at the hub (CVG) play a key role in making sure that obviously with the arrival, the unloading of the project is done according to our standards and the standards that we have agreed to," he says. "And then the reloading, flagging, containerization and alerting is done. So the team there plays a critical role to moving vaccines in an urgent and timely manner." 

He couldn't estimate what the economic impact of the vaccine shipments would be for DHL. "It's early days in regards to what this will mean in total for us in terms of an organization, being that we are still in our quiet period. I can't share financials around that." Parra says he will give more details at a later date.

Company-wide, DHL has added 6,000 new jobs and recently bought eight new 777s, in part because of the additional business from vaccine shipments.

"A number of those (777s) will come through Cincinnati, so we'll be adding additional flights into the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport and we're going to continue to expand there," Parra says.

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