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Scania and Karolinska University Hospital work together to solve Stockholm’s healthcare equipment crisis

30 March 2020

About 20 experts from Scania’s purchasing and logistics organisation are now helping Karolinska University Hospital and Region Stockholm to acquire protective equipment for healthcare workers working to save those suffering from COVID-19. At the same time, trailers from Scania are being converted to mobile testing stations.

Just a week ago, Scania contacted Karolinska University Hospital and offered its expertise in purchasing and logistics. The theory was that Karolinska University Hospital, as one of the best in the world at healthcare, alongside Scania, as one of the best in the world in transport, logistics and purchasing, could together coordinate to manage the difficult situation Stockholm is in right now. Two days later, some 20 of Scania’s experts were already on site with employees from Karolinska and the Stockholm region, to build a command centre.

Scania’s Transport Lab

Today, some 60 people are working to find, purchase and deliver protective equipment, working from evacuated training rooms on the seventh floor of the new Karolinska University Hospital. Masks, visors, protective clothing, hand spray and surface disinfectant acquired from European suppliers are rolling in on vehicles from Scania’s Transport Lab, while material from further afield is being flown in.


A wall with screens in the command centre describes both forecasts for and outcomes of the number of infected persons in need of intensive care in the Stockholm region. Twice a day, the group has pulse meetings, when the various “cells” report on developments from the last few hours.

The work in Karolinskas Command center is led by Andreas Fabó from Scania, Sara Lindholm and Martin Tegner, Karolinska and Tobias Rydin, Scania.

High tempo

The pace is high and the updates come with precision: “New mouthguards from China”, “results from quality assurance checks”, “100,000 new visors from Denmark”, “we have found 9,000 liters of hand sanitiser and 6,000 litres of other solution for delivery to Scania, where the liquid will be repackaged before direct distribution into healthcare”, “500,000 basic aprons and 100,000 aprons with sleeves to be decided and probably 82,000 protective aprons tomorrow”, “eight transports on the way right now, including a flight from China”, “possible deviations”, ” 3D-printed masks”, ” respirators”, “door openers”…


“We do this together with the help of Scania’s fantastic global logistics and purchasing organisation and all its expertise,” says Sara Lindholm, Director of Operations for Perioperative Medicine and Intensive Care at Karolinska University Hospital.


In addition to Scania’s help, the hospitals in Region Stockholm also have their experts on the team.

“We just started”

Together, the experts from Scania, Karolinska and Region Stockholm have in a short time set up efficient working methods with fast decision paths. With all the necessary skills in the same room, the work becomes efficient. One of the groups is constantly receiving tips on where to find face masks, visors, hand sanitiser and other necessary equipment. The tips they receive are forwarded to different “purchasing cells” that decide whether to take action.


Another group arranges the transport and retrieves the material, regardless of whether it is in Sweden, continental Europe or China.


“Overall, we have created a lot in just a few days. And we have only just begun,” concludes Sara Lindholm.

Some 60 experts in logistics and purchasing from Scania, Karolinska University Hospital and Region Stockholm work at Karolinskas Command center.

“Great pride”

Tobias Rydin, normally Head of Supply Chain Networks, is one of the Scania experts who has led the work to set up the command centre at Karolinska.


“Two things stand out in this unique collaboration, I think. It’s interesting to see that the working methods and processes that we have at Scania are fully applicable in this type of environment.”


“But the most amazing thing, which I as a Scania employee feel immense pride in, is the total commitment and support in our organisation. There are so many who want to help. It really warms my Scania heart!”

Testing Scania trailers

Scania is also supporting the extremely strained healthcare system in the Stockholm region by lending truck trailers. One possible area of use is as mobile sampling stations for patients who may need hospital care. Sampling outside hospitals reduces the risk of spread to other patients and healthcare professionals.