Marken Took the Sting Out of a Difficult Shipping Problem…

Challenge: A client needed to move malaria-infected mosquitoes across the United States as part of a clinical trial for a new malaria vaccine. Mosquitoes, particularly those infected with malaria, are considered highly infectious, so this unusual shipment presented numerous challenges. The mosquitoes had to be delivered quickly, under strict temperature control, to ensure that they arrived in peak condition with minimal loss or stress. Another challenge was the need to transport these mosquitoes by air: airlines tend to think twice about flying malaria-infected mosquitoes around the country. In order to ship them by air, regulatory clearances from several agencies were required.

Solution First, we determined which airline had the most direct flights to the final destination to ensure that airline handling was kept to a minimum. We also took into consideration the ideal time for arrival, as well as the patients’ dosing schedule. Once we had that information, we met with airline personnel to explain the critical nature of the shipments and the regulatory clearances Marken would obtain prior to shipment. Working with the Department of Transportation, the Center for Disease Control, and the International Transport Authority’s Public Health Service, our team of dangerous goods specialists verified all of the necessary approvals and documentation and ensured that the shipment complied with the prescribed regulations. With preparations in place, Marken’s next step was to conduct trial runs. Patients in the trial had been given the vaccine at a specific time, and once a patient was called to receive the malaria strain, rescheduling wasn’t ossible. Therefore, it was critical to have a robust process tested and in place to mitigate errors and route delays. The first trial run revealed that the airline had failed to give all of their dangerous goods handling personnel complete details of the shipment. As a result, the first shipment was delayed before it ever left the airport. Using local airline contacts, Marken personnel informed the airline’s central dangerous goods handling office of the issue and the second test shipment was completed without delay. Each step and touch point was carefully monitored and verified by senior staff en route, resulting in significant time savings.

Outcome Peace of Mind. Marken was able to give both the shipper and the receiver positive verification of the completion of key steps in the process. Regular communication and status updates allowed the clinic to meet Marken’s driver and prepare a Sunday shipment of their important materials.