Monday, October 15, 2018

Freight and Logistics Sector Steps Up with Global Charity Support on the Road and in the Air

Once Again the Transport Industry Shows Its Worth
Shipping News Feature
UK – UGANDA – FRANCE – INDONESIA – News on the charity front this month as, once again the freight and logistics sector steps up to help those in need overseas. The disastrous earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi Island at the end of September 2018 has elicited a response from someone in the air cargo community, but we start with news from the transport industry's best supported charity, Transaid.

Chilled and ambient food specialist Samworth Brothers Supply Chain has donated a training vehicle to international development organisation Transaid, which will help meet the growing demand for qualified HGV drivers in Uganda. This is the first pledge of support from Samworth to Transaid and the MAN TGX truck has been shipped more than 6,000 miles to become a dedicated training vehicle for the Professional Driver Training – Uganda (PDT-U) project.

Samworth are no strangers when it comes to charity support, in 2009 president David Samworth received a knighthood for services to charity, and in 2013 the company’s ‘Charity Challenge’ reached the £1 million mark. Now the PDT-U training school has opened its doors to the first group of drivers, with more than 4,000 people expressing their interest in being trained during the recent media campaign. Already, the first 52 trainees have completed the project’s license acquisition training course. Commenting on the vehicle donation, Ian Cooper, Samworth Brothers Supply Chain Regional Fleet Manager, says:

“Having the MAN available will prove so beneficial to the PDT-U project in helping drivers to learn new skills to ensure a safer working environment. Being able to contribute to its success is such a rewarding experience for us and we would not hesitate to assist Transaid again in the future.”

The MAN truck follows in the tracks of a similarly specified Volvo FH tractor unit donated by Transaid’s corporate member, Volvo Trucks. They will both be used in Uganda to haul a platform trailer – donated by W H Malcolm – loaded with an empty container for the driver training. With the two second-hand vehicles and trailer received, Transaid can effectively double the amount of people that can be trained in a given period. Neil Rettie, Transaid Road Safety Project Manager, commented:

“We anticipate a massive demand for high quality professional driver training in Uganda and we are so thrilled to welcome each new driver that expresses an interest in training with the PDT-U school.

“The benefits for the transport industry in Uganda from the PDT-U school truly shows how much of an impact Transaid’s Professional Driver Training projects are having in sub-Saharan Africa and how important this cause is to communities. The Uganda initiative was officially launched in 2017, and already the support it has received in the form of vehicle donations has been excellent.”

The PDT-U project is one of Transaid’s largest professional driver training initiatives and builds the capacity of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger service vehicle (PSV) driver training in Uganda. Since 2008, Transaid has been working with local and international partners to build the capacity of the transport and logistics sector across sub-Saharan Africa. The project has been secured in partnership with the German development cooperation’s GIZ E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa, local non-governmental organisation – Safe Way Right Way, the Ugandan Government and the local private sector.

Meanwhile Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered generators and a water purification system to Indonesia to support the international humanitarian mission dealing with the cataclysmic aftermath of the recent twin disasters. The flight was performed by one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ modernised IL-76TD-90VD freighters from Châlon Vatry Airport in France to the Indonesian city of Balikpapan on request of the Crisis Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following their arrival in Indonesia, the generators and water purification system – weighing 29 tonnes in total – will be transported to the worst-affected areas. The equipment will provide much-needed electricity and clean water for the local population. Konstantin Vekshin, Executive President Cargo Charter Operations, Volga-Dnepr commented on his company’s devotion to helping the victims of such global disasters, saying:

“Our unique fleet of 12 giant An-124-100 freighters and five modernized Il-76TD-90VD give us numerous possibilities while organizing charters for humanitarian missions. These aircraft are self-sufficient in remote locations or where local infrastructure has been damaged, provide both nose and rear ramp loading capabilities, and meet all ICAO requirements for international flight operations in compliance with the latest noise and emissions standards.

”With its expertise and experience in operating charter flights, Volga-Dnepr is always among the first responders to support victims of natural disasters, allowing emergency relief management agencies and governmental organisations all over the world to deliver critically-needed cargo and supplies in what is always a significant race against time.”

Photo: L-R: Two trainees, Bill and George, who are currently completing their training course at the PDT-U school, pictured with the MAN truck donated by Samworth Brothers Supply Chain.