Though commercial air travel has come to a screeching halt worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) has seen a steady flow in air shipments. Local manufacturer Nephron Pharmaceuticals and international cargo carrier UPS have played a major role in CAE’s success.
To support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Nephron Pharmaceuticals added hand sanitizer, drugs for respiratory inhalation therapy and neutralizers to their existing production portfolio. In March, the pharmaceutical company shipped over 25,000 pieces from CAE to hundreds of hospitals across the nation.
“Team Nephron has been working overtime to deliver life-saving respiratory medications to patients around the country, including solutions that treat symptoms of COVID-19,” Nephron CEO and owner Lou Kennedy said. “The only way we have been able to meet the demands of increased orders is by working together with partners like UPS and CAE. We are grateful for our partners, and we are grateful for the opportunity to play an important role in the nation’s response to the pandemic. We cannot overstate how important the local UPS hub is to our business. Having them based out of Columbia Metropolitan Airport, our local airport, is instrumental to the sustainability of our healthcare operation."
With a manufacturing parent, Nephron Pharmaceuticals plans to launch a new product this year which will ship directly to patients around the U.S. The project will commence in September and is slated for 200,000 monthly shipments by May 2021. UPS small package air service will be mostly utilized for this service out of CAE.
UPS is increasing the number of company-owned and chartered air freighter flights during April by more than 185 in response to customer orders. The company is optimizing capacity to meet soaring customer demand to ship test kits, personal protective equipment and other supplies necessary to the global COVID-19 response effort.
“We understand the important role of logistics during a global crisis like the coronavirus,” said Dan Gagnon, vice president of UPS Healthcare Marketing. “In times like these, we are all the more proud to support healthcare organizations like Nephron and deploy our capabilities to help get much-needed medicines, equipment and supplies into hospitals and clinics where they can save lives.”
CAE has consistently been a top producing cargo hub within South Carolina and the nation. Additional information on CAE’s partnership with Nephron Pharmaceuticals and UPS can be found at flycae.com