Movianto, Dutch partner in Covid-19 vaccine solution

Michiel Heller, Director of Operations Benelux: Movianto is a logistics company dedicated to healthcare.

Patrick Verkuijlen, Managing Director Benelux: Everything we do here revolves around people’s health.

Voiceover: It’s early 2020. The coronavirus is spreading across the world. Countries go into lockdown, with huge societal and economic consequences. Everyone is hoping for a vaccine to unlock their daily lives. But receiving, storing and distributing the vaccines safely is a major operation. In September 2020, the Dutch RIVM contacts Movianto behind the scenes.

Michiel Heller: We needed all hands on deck to make the whole operation possible. Not everyone can do that. You need specific knowledge. You need to receive goods on dry ice, store them in ULT freezers…pack and distribute them under temperature-controlled circumstances…to GPs, healthcare centres and vaccination centres.

Patrick Verkuijlen: We manage the Dutch influenza vaccine logistics every year. That amounts to about 3.5 to 4 million jabs across the country. To that end, we created a robust infrastructure and network. We’ve been doing this for ten years now, to RIVM’s great satisfaction. That’s partly why they came to us for this task.

Voiceover: From that moment on, all eyes are on Movianto.  In a short time, they have to keep up their regular operations while preparing for this major operation.

Edwin Hendriks, Warehouse Team Leader: The goods are delivered to us in softboxes with dry ice. We unpack them, load them into these
freezers and scan their locations.

Aping Hsia, Client Service Employee: RIVM sends us order files and we ensure the vaccinations are delivered to the right locations on time.

Harold van der Leest, Distribution Planner Eurotranspharma:  Our deliveries to health centres and hospitals was hindered by the masks and hand-washing. But we did our job and kept moving throughout.

Patrick Verkuijlen: In the Netherlands, we didn’t deliver the goods to vaccination centres in dry ice. We removed the products from the dry ice to store them here at -80 degrees Celsius and let them warm up overnight to 2 to 8 degrees Celsius so that we didn’t need to work with dry ice at the centres. That was a great way of handling things and it sets us apart from a lot of other European countries.

Michiel Heller: You just know you can’t do a job like this with just your own organisation. You absolutely need partners who will take on the job with you.

Robert Olieslaegers, Commercial and Marketing Director Snijders Labs Tilburg: We prioritised this project. It’s not just business, but a social responsibility. The freezers needed to get here fast, but customising them was just as important. Deciding what type of freezer and inlays were needed was key.

Patrick Verkuijlen: The people at Movianto have had to work day and night, seven days a week, including weekends, to pull it off.

Michiel Heller: To succeed at something like this, you need what we call a ‘quality mindset’. Everything we do here, we do with our mind on quality. You also have to be very flexible.

Laura Bartelds, Client Service Officer: That’s always on your mind. You can’t give just 50%. You have to get it right. And that’s top of mind for everyone here. You can really tell.

Patrick Verkuijlen: Our QA department is very large. Compared to other Dutch logistics providers, it’s four to five times the size.

Michiel Heller: What we do here is about quality of life. It’s about making people better. That’s what our customers do, but we’re a key part of that process.

Baban Abdulhaliq, Client Service Team Leader: My colleagues and I have made this a success in a very short time. That’s what we aim for, whether it’s the flu campaign or the Covid campaign. Our slogan, ‘Making Healing Happen’ is exactly what we’re doing here. We’re very proud of what we do.

Wobine Bujs-Glaudemans, Mayor of the Municipality of Oss: The whole country was worrying about freezers and ways to store vaccines. But here in Oss, we knew for a fact that Movianto would have received a call because they had the know-how as well as the facilities. It was obvious from the way they’ve managed to get all those vaccines to the various distribution centres and GPs. And all from this facility, here in Oss. It’s a tremendous achievement.

Patrick Verkuijlen: We made history here. One of our delivery drivers worked with us on scheduling and he spent months working nights. Not because we asked him to, but because he offered to. He wanted to contribute to this operation. That’s just one example of how committed and driven our people are.

Aping Hsia: I’m very proud that I get to be part of a Covid team. That I can do my bit.

Edwin Hendriks: I’m definitely proud to get to do this.

Patrick Verkuijlen: It’s amazing to see how our people’s commitment has poured out when we most needed it. It’s incredible. I’m so proud of them.

Michiel Heller: Normally, an operation like this needs a sizeable start-up period. But we did this in under three months. Together. By December, we were ready to kick off the Covid vaccine operation. Now that’s unique.