Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s leading mail and logistics services provider, has provided volunteer humanitarian logistics support for COVID-19 response in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and the United States. The efforts by DHL employees fall under the company’s GoHelp volunteer initiatives and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between DHL and the Red Cross; three were signed this year and the total throughout the region is five. DHL also has MoUs with Coordinadora Nacional para la Reduccion de Desastres (CONRED) in Guatemala and the Costa Rica National Emergency Commission (CNE). Under these agreements, DHL will collaborate on emergency preparedness and disaster response efforts in times of need.
In April, DRT volunteers from DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding worked with CONRED in Guatemala, to provide consultation for establishing and managing a COVID-19 warehouse. In addition, DHL provided 175 wooden pallets to CONRED to support storage of COVID-19-related supplies. In July, DHL helped unload aircraft containing medical supplies to support COVID-19 response efforts.
DRT volunteers from DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding consulted with Costa Rica’s CNE in April to support efforts to establish and manage a central warehouse for incoming COVID-19 related supplies.
Logistics support efforts for Red Cross organizations in the region include:
- Argentina: Under a MoU signed in July, 89 DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain volunteers assembled 4,220 emergency kits for distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We want to thank DHL for their commitment to the work of the Argentina Red Cross at a time when it is essential to collaborate to help those in need. Emergency response efforts have a large logistics component and the COVID-19 pandemic has multiplied those challenges. DHL’s contribution, from their participation in assembling cleaning kits to having employees provide logistics services, allows our volunteers to better fulfill our humanitarian mission,” said Dr. Diego Tipping, president, Argentina Red Cross.
- Brazil: In May and June of this year, DRT volunteers from DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain, supported the Red Cross by consulting on the establishment and management of a warehouse for pandemic supplies and donations. Employees also delivered food rations to families in need. Marina Calife, manager of social projects and volunteering, for the Brazilian Red Cross stated, “The extremely generous help that DHL’s DRT employees provided to us was crucial since we did not have enough staff and volunteers to make these deliveries due to the pandemic.”
- Colombia: In April and May, DRT volunteers from DHL Express assisted the Red Cross in Bogota by assembling more than 21,000 food ration bags for citizens impacted by COVID-19 sheltering requirements. The efforts fall under the MoU signed by DHL and the Red Cross in March of this year. “The Red Cross extends a thank you to DHL’s DRT and employee volunteers for the support they have provided to us in different scenarios. During this pandemic, DHL has assisted with packaging food ration bags and delivering specialized products for terminally ill patients in Cartagena. In addition, DHL assisted by delivering food ration bags door-to-door to our most vulnerable population in Bogota. As always, DHL has proven to be a strategic partner in helping us achieve our mission to serve those in need of assistance,” said Fabian Cardenas Vega, Planning and Migration Coordinator, Colombian Red Cross Sectional Cundinamarca and Bogotá
- Ecuador: DHL Express is currently advising the Red Cross on developing a process for assembling nearly 10,000 bags of food to distribute to those in need throughout 24 provinces. DHL employees began assembling the first 1,500 bags on Aug. 15. The company is also preparing to transport blood tests to private laboratories for the Red Cross. “I would like to thank DHL’s DRT and employee volunteers for their assistance. DHL’s logistics expertise has helped the Ecuadorian Red Cross fulfill our humanitarian mission to assist the population most affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and we appreciate their continued support,” said Paola Lopez Leon Ging, national response, Ecuadorian Red Cross.
- Panama: DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding employees recently provided virtual warehouse consultation and assembled 6,000 ration bags containing food, diapers, milk and other necessary items. In addition, DHL Express transported medication to non COVID-19 patients. “The collaboration with DHL’s DRT has been vital during our response to the pandemic. DHL worked to store and assemble a total of 6,000 food ration bags during two phases. When the quarantine was first enacted we had a critical need to assemble an initial 4,000 ration bags and to immediately distribute 2,500 of those to families in the district of Belisario, Panamá. DHL employees ensured these initial rations were delivered and then assembled an additional 2,000 bags for later distribution. The Red Cross team is grateful for the support DHL provided,” said Abril Staples, project supervisor, Panamanian Red Cross.
- United States: DHL Supply Chain expanded its support to the American Red Cross under a MoU signed in 2019, in which the division provides skilled fork lift drivers to three Red Cross Disaster Warehouses in the United States: Atlanta, GA; Carlisle, PA; and Arlington, TX. Since January of 2020, DHL Supply Chain employees have provided more than 624 hours of support to the American Red Cross in support of disaster response efforts, which have continued despite COVID-19. The program was initially established to provide assistance to the American Red Cross during Hurricane Season, but was expanded this year to include support during the pandemic as requested. “In the face of COVID-19, DHL has provided critical support such as breaking supplies for our biomedical operations and packing PPE supplies for disaster workers,” said Brad Maynard, senior director, Supply Chain Enterprise Warehouse/Equipment. “Through this great partnership, the American Red Cross is better prepared for hurricane season and to continue responding to disasters across the country.”
“Our company purpose is to connect people and improve lives,” said Gilberto Castro, Americas DRT coordinator, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “DHL employees, are proud to support our company purpose by working with these organizations in times of need. They are highly-trained volunteers who provide logistics expertise to help coordinate humanitarian logistics during emergency response situations.”