Freight News, Logistics

DHL disaster team to stay on in Nepal

[ May 15, 2015   //   ]

Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Disaster Response Team is to extend its deployment in Nepal until May following the second earthquake to hit the region on 12 May. The 18-strong team will continue to play a critical role in ensuring the Tribhuvan Kathmandu International Airport remains operational.
Over the last three weeks, the DRT handled over 2,000 tons of incoming relief supplies, sorting and moving goods with limited equipment into centralised airside warehouses run by the United Nations World Food Programme.
The airport has one runway servicing both passenger and cargo aircraft, and can process nine planes at a time, with a 196 ton cargo weight restriction per plane. The airport’s capacity, coupled with a current lack of equipment and resources in the currently very demanding situation, are have a “huge” impact on the speed of delivery of relief goods.
Director for Humanitarian Affairs, DPDHL Group, Chris Weeks, said: “When we first arrived, we had a big job to do in cleaning up the congested tarmac area which was filled with relief supplies – this is critical in an emergency situation. If we hadn’t done this, it’s likely the airport would have closed within the first 48 hours of the earthquake because the airport would have run out of space and equipment, and NGOs would have been unable to locate their aid and relief goods. We implemented a system to maximize the use of limited resources for ongoing relief efforts. Working closely with the civil aviation authorities, local military, international aid organizations and the UN, we have clarity on the daily flights coming in. We also set up processes to meet the cargo at the airside to make the necessary arrangements in the fastest possible time.”
And the senior logistics coordinator for the World Food Programme’s Nepal Earthquake Response, Alex Marianelli, added: “With the recurring earthquakes experienced in Nepal, we are glad to have the logistics expertise of DHL on the ground at the Nepal airport to help with the mammoth task of managing the deluge of incoming relief aid. It is a tough and thankless job but an extremely critical one.”