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Delivering Hope

MICCO Logistics, the logistics arm of Abu Dhabi Ports, has been instrumental in the delivery and dispatch of the COVID-19 vaccines from the hub facility to the airport in its Mercedes-Benz Truck. Jochebed Menon finds out more

One of the greatest logistical challenges of modern times has come in during the pandemic with the transportation of vast amounts of COVID-19 vaccines.

The pandemic brought our world to a complete standstill with the introduction of lockdowns, curfews, and travel restrictions.

The rapid development of vaccines has provided some much-needed hope. Economies and businesses across the world have slowly got back to normal.

However, delivery of the vaccines has been a Herculean logistical task with countries scrambling to secure huge quotas of doses. Major challenges have arisen due to the sheer demand for vaccines and the need for robust supply chain solutions, all while maintaining integrity of the vaccine supply chain, and minimising vaccine wastage.


Anticipating the surge in vaccine logistics demand, Abu Dhabi launched the HOPE Consortium in November 2020, and cemented its position as the global logistics hub to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the world.

Comprising of prominent Abu Dhabi and global entities, the Hope Consortium embodies an all-encompassing supply chain solution to address vaccine transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, digital technology infrastructure, and facilitate vaccine availability across the world.

The HOPE Consortium’s six founding partners include the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Cargo, RAFED, Maqta Gateway, and SkyCell.

MICCO joins the founders as a key logistics partner. Together the consortium successfully solved major logistics challenges from procurement to delivery. Specifically, it solved the issue of scale by establishing a brand agnostic vaccine supply chain that is capable of handling millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses annually, regardless of temperature restrictions.

Looking ahead, the Consortium is expanding its capacity to significantly increase its handling volumes and geographical reach. The partners solved the issue of vaccine wastage by employing a unique hub and spoke model, which allows the Consortium to store large quantities of vaccines at Abu Dhabi Ports’ advanced cold storage hub in Abu Dhabi and align its global deliveries with the ability of the countries and communities it serves to absorb them safely.

Photo: Robert Sutton, Head Of The Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports

“The Hope Consortium manifests Abu Dhabi’s commitment to the Global battle against the pandemic with the goal of safely distributing millions of vaccines, from the point of production to the point of vaccination, anywhere in the world. Combining Abu Dhabi’s Strategic position as a gateway to two-thirds of the global population with the unique capabilities of our world-class partners, we have developed one of the most complete and most effective end-to-end vaccine supply chains in the world capable of fulfilling our global mission.
A key partner in this effort has been MICCO Logistics, our logistics Subsidiary, which operates a fleet of Mercedes-Benz trucks that transport COVID-19 vaccines to and from our advanced cold and ultra-cold storage hub in Abu Dhabi. I am pleased to say that working together with all our partners, we have handled over 100 million vaccines across 40 countries, including those in the MENA region, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the CIS, and we expect these numbers to increase significantly as more vaccines enter the market in the coming months.” – Robert Sutton, Head Of The Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports


Mercedes-Benz Trucks, in service with MICCO, have played a vital role in vaccine delivery to the consortium’s hub facility to Abu Dhabi airport, from where they are distributed all over the world.

Clifford D’souza, Executive Vice President & COO, MICCO Logistics, says: “As a member of the Abu Dhabi Ports family, MICCO is proud to support the HOPE Consortium as it helps lead the global effort against the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to say that our on-ground teams have responded to the challenge and are working round the clock to receive, store, dispatch and help deliver thousands of vaccines from our vaccine hub in KIZAD to the rest of the UAE and the world each day.

“As part of our collective commitment to the broader humanity, we rely on our tried-and-tested fleet of Mercedes-Benz long-haul trucks, which have served MICCO, Abu Dhabi Ports and the Consortium with distinction. Their reliability and versatility boost our overall capability to transport vaccines and other sensitive pharmaceuticals, and they play an important role as the Consortium partners bring hope and relief to the world at a time of need.”


Lastly, the Consortium resolved the vaccine integrity challenge by connecting its entire vaccine supply chain, including the MICCO fleet, to ‘mUnity’, a digital blockchain-enabled solution, developed by Maqta Gateway.

mUnity tracks and traces the journey of the vaccines through the consortium’s supply chain to ensure that the supplies it delivers are safe, secure, and effective.

Realising that vaccine delivery is often not sufficient, the Consortium is also coupling vaccine deliveries with rapid on-ground deployment of medical and logistics experts, staff, trainers, and equipment.

The combined service enables countries and communities with limited medical and logistical capacities to inoculate their populations swiftly and efficiently, making sure that a vaccine delivered is a vaccine administered.

Photo: Beshoy Messiha, Sales Manager, Emirates Motor Company (EMC)

“EMC, the commercial vehicles division, and MICCO logistics have a long relationship spanning many decades. MICCO have multiple generations of Mercedes-Benz trucks in their fleet including Actros 1, Actros 2, Actros 3, Actros 4 and Actros 5. Majority of the MICCO fleet comprises of Mercedes-Benz trucks.

The latest generation of Mercedes Benz Actros 2045s trucks were delivered to MICCO logistics and are equipped with the latest technology including – automatic transmission Mercedes powershift 3, mirror cam, multimedia cockpit and an 800-litre dual fuel tank capacity. The trucks are used by MICCO for a variety of applications and most recently for covid 19 vaccine transport.” – Beshoy Messiha, Sales Manager, Emirates Motor Company (EMC)