In a practical and innovative approach to corporate citizenship, DHL has developed a Disaster Response Team whose latest efforts in the Java and Jogyakarta earthquakes have seen it manage over 160 tonnes of incoming aid for the region.
The DHL Disaster Response Team Asia Pacific (DRT AP) went into action immediately after the earthquake that left at least 30,000 injured and nearly 650,000 homeless, primarily in the towns of Bantul and Klaten.
“Working with the local military and airport authorities, the DRT greets each incoming plane to verify the contents of the cargo against the flight manifest. This ensures that the goods and equipment received are accurately recorded and properly allocated, based on need, to the surrounding communities,” says Gary Edstein, Senior Vice President, DHL Express, Oceania.
According to Mr Edstein, the DRT was established after the Asian Tsunami and has assisted during the Pakistan earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in the US. This hands-on response is a unique way for DHL to use its logistics expertise in a positive way.
“The DHL staff who volunteer for the DRT AP are experts in logistics and cargo handling, so it makes sense for DHL to apply what we do so well in business towards a project that can genuinely contribute to community at a time of such great need.
“Just as importantly, we are passing on these skills, as the team is also simultaneously training local personnel to take over the operations once DHL transitions out of the area. This will ensure that our logistics role continues to be effectively carried out, and relief items are delivered to where they’re needed most,” he says.
DRT AP is currently based at the Solo Adisoemarm Airport to manage incoming relief aid from the international community. Since commencing operations some weeks ago, the Team has handled over 161 tons of relief items.
“DRT AP goes to work as soon as the shipment arrives. As most of the shipments are loosely loaded, the task of sorting and organising is more challenging than normal commercial cargo,” Gary Edstein says. “Relief items consist mainly of medical supplies, tent structures, blankets, and goods such as sugar, rice and oil, which residents in the affected communities desperately need.” Tel: 02 9818 0972 or 0421 193 668
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