If disaster strikes Latin America, northern South America or the southern United States this year, DHL will be ready to pitch in on the relief effort. At the start of the 2006 hurricane season, the express delivery specialist announced that it had formed a Disaster Response Team (DRT) to help provide humanitarian assistance.
Once notified of an emergency, DHL will mobilize relief teams drawn from a pool of approximately 80 volunteers with expertise in everything from cargo handling, warehouse management and inventory control to customs clearance, road operations, communications and security. DHL expects to deploy the teams for up to three weeks to help distribute relief supplies airlifted into disaster-stricken regions.
"We are committed to sharing our core competence in logistics and transportation as well as our expert manpower to support disaster relief efforts, not only in our South Florida home but where we are needed most in the Americas," says John Mullen, CEO for DHL Express Americas.
The DRT is the result of a strategic partnership between DHL and the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the area of disaster management. In April, DHL also inaugurated the DRT Asia Pacific, which will provide coverage for disasters throughout that region.
DHL employees were actively engaged in providing humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the United States in the summer of 2005, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and in the aftermath of last year's South Asian earthquake in Pakistan and India.