DHL along with Blue Dart has conducted a four-day emergency relief simulation course in Bangalore, India with close to 40 volunteers from DHL’s Disaster Response Team (DRT). This training is part of the company’s Corporate Responsibility program GoHelp, which covers disaster relief and disaster prevention issues. The DRT will manage the logistics of the inbound relief goods sent via air or sea by the international community and help ensure the quick and constant flow of goods to the people in need.
Carl Schelfhaut, Head of International Relations & Disaster Management Asia Pacific for Deutsche Post DHL, said: “Our DRT trainings regularly take place in disaster-prone regions worldwide, including various exercises like warehouse management, appropriate treatment of sensitive goods like medicine and food, as well as teambuilding and physical tasks to ensure our volunteers are able to support relief efforts in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Our recent deployment in Cebu to manage the logistics of relief goods following the devastation caused by super typhoon “Haiyan” is testament to the effectiveness of our trainings to ensure smooth processes under difficult environmental conditions during a deployment.”
“The newly trained team in India comprises about 40 employees who have volunteered from across the country. This DRT training can now provide effective airport logistics support to humanitarian relief operations in India and are now on call 24 hours a day, ready to quickly create a logistics infrastructure at airports. Given the vast number of incoming relief supplies which arrive at airports following a natural disaster, the expertise of the DHL and Blue Dart employees will play an extremely important role in setting up a functioning logistics operation at the airport,” added Carl Schelfhaut.
The team is also trained to pack and dispatch the DHL speedballs, an innovative disaster relief solution designed to deliver aid to inaccessible areas for example in flooded areas. The speedballs contain basic supplies like food, water and hygiene items. These supplies are packed into DHL courier bags, robust enough to be dropped by aircraft and capable of holding up to 25kg of relief supplies.
As part of the strategic partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), DHL has established a global network DRTs, which support airports in case of a disaster. The DRTs provide logistical support free of charge for the speedy movement of relief supplies, including unloading cargo planes, conducting professional warehousing and inventory management, as well as loading the relief goods for onward transportation. The DRT network consists of over 400 trained DHL volunteers, who can be deployed within 72 hours. DRT teams deploy for up to three weeks at a time, with up to 10 employees making up a single DRT. Since 2005, the DRTs have been deployed more than 20 times worldwide, most recently to the Philippines in the wake of the devastation wrought by super typhoon “Haiyan”.
DHL has signed MOUs with several countries in disaster-prone regions to provide the services of DRTs, allowing governments to request support directly and accelerating DRT deployments.