UPS division Marken delivers virus tests—Covid-19 roundup, May 5 | 2020-05-05


UPS Inc.’s pharmaceutical logistics arm Marken is delivering Covid-19 test materials to coronavirus testing labs at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, 

The deliveries are part of a program to test antiviral therapies for healthcare workers potentially exposed to Covid-19. In support of that mission, Marken is bringing serial biospecimens—including nasopharyngeal swabs and blood—to the Rutgers lab from four participating command sites: Rutgers Cancer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and University Hospital in Newark. 

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) has recruited 839 healthcare workers in order to recognize asymptomatic cases at their earliest point, with a goal of preventing the spread of Covid-19 and focusing on the safety of healthcare workers and impacted hospital staff.

“We are honored to offer our services in kind as part of this study and incredibly proud to have been chosen by RBHS to be their supply chain provider for this cohort,” Marken President Ariette van Strien said in a release. “We are leading the way in patient-centric supply chain solutions with Direct to Patient and Direct from Patient services.  We will continue to set standards which enable patients to participate in these types of initiatives, now and going forward, anywhere in the world.”

And in other examples of the logistics industry dedicating its assets to the coronavirus fight:

  • Truckload company Landstar Systems Inc. says it has added additional funds to its relief effort intended to help independent Landstar business capacity owner-operators (BCOs) and Landstar freight agents during the coronavirus pandemic. Now effective for each load delivered by a Landstar BCO with a confirmed delivery date from April 1 through May 15, Landstar will pay an extra $50 per load to the BCO hauling the load and the agent dispatching the load. The confirmed delivery date has been extended from April 30 to May 15.
  • Trucker training app vendor Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is offering its product for free to the commercial driver training community during the coronavirus crisis, saying the move could help lessen the shortage of truck drivers and ease the supply chain problems seen in many U.S. grocery stores. To help expedite a solution of the shortage, for the next 90 days ATS will provide its Pre-Trip Training and Evaluation Software App at no charge—not only to its simulator customers, but to the entire national community of commercial driver training institutions as well, the company said. “There is a significant startup cost associated with new applications, but we feel it is critical at this time in history to ensure its widespread availability,” ATS CEO John Kearney said in a release. “This will enable students to study at their own pace in solitary locations, online, and safe from the spread of the virus—and give them the knowledge needed to pass the CDL exam and become a thoroughly trained and safety-conscious driver.”
  • Dock scheduling software provider Opendock says that warehouses and distribution centers overwhelmed by orders for healthcare-related products are using its technology to distribute PPE (personal protective equipment) more efficiently. Most facilities were not prepared for the massive surge in volume triggered by the coronavirus crisis for shipments of medical masks, goggles, clothing, gloves, and other protective gear. According to Opendock, part of the difficulty with distribution during the pandemic is a logjam in DCs with a fixed number of dock doors, limiting them to serving a restricted number of trucks at one time. In response, warehouses are using dock scheduling software to avoid mile-long lines of trucks and day-long wait times, the firm said.
  • As coronavirus shutdowns freeze the flow of passengers and cargo in every mode, United Airlines is supporting charities that rely on travel by matching all donations up to 500,000 miles in support of non-profits that aid veterans, medical volunteers, and more who require Covid-19 travel. The airline is using its Miles on a Mission crowdsourcing platform to help a range of charities. “In this time of crisis, essential travel is critical for many like veterans, domestic violence victims and others needing to reunite with family or otherwise find shelter during COVID-19,” Sharon Grant, vice president and chief community engagement officer at United Airlines, said in a release. “We are proud to provide a platform for organizations helping to meet this need and match donations our members contribute to these critical causes.”

To see further coverage of the coronavirus crisis and how it’s affecting the logistics industry, check out our Covid-19 landing page. And click here for our compilation of virus-focused websites and resource pages from around the supply chain sector.

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