Friday, September 23, 2016

In the Face of Horror how the Freight and Logistics Sector Continues to Support the Vulnerable

Despite the Syrian Aid Convoy Murders the Industry Keeps Giving
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE –Nothing can express the horror of seeing the aid convoy destroyed in Syria this week with trucks of stores burnt out, their drivers coldly murdered. Once again those trying to help their fellow man have been killed for a political end and one can only hope that the long arm of justice one day reaches out to claim the guilty. As usual through all this mayhem the freight and logistics community continues to punch above its weight when it comes to supporting those who are less fortunate. Three lighter stories this week stood out as, a world away from such inhumanity, people in the world of transport once again stepped up.

In Britain GB Railfreight (GBRf) managed to raise a record £125,100 for its selected charities, following a four-day charity charter train tour of the UK. The achievement marks 15 years of operations for the company. The tour saw passengers travelling to an extensive array of locations across the UK, including Swanage, Harwich, Inverness and Liverpool, being hauled by locomotives that included Class 87s, Class 59s, Class 20s and the famous ‘Evening Star’.

The comprehensive programme was led by Business Manager for Infrastructure and Rail Services Paul Taylor, Account Manager for Rail Services Dale Williams, and Train Planner Richard Owen, who set plans in motion over a year ago. Over 30 additional GBRf staff volunteered to work in their own time across the four days and on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis. The freight operator was supported by their suppliers Harry Needle Railway Company, Riviera and Colas Rail, and infrastructure provider Network Rail, in order to make the tour a possibility.

The charter train tour forms part of the freight operator’s year-long fundraising efforts for The British Heart Foundation, Woking Homes and The Ripple Project. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“Every year, our staff and their families go that extra mile to raise funds for our nominated charities. With this four-day charter tour, Paul Taylor and his team took it that stage further. The culmination of two years’ worth of discussions and over a year of planning, they came up with a programme that, when tickets went on sale, almost sold out within the first 24 hours. I’d like to thank the GBRf staff and all of our suppliers, who helped make the charity charter tour happen, raising a record figure of £125,100. I can’t begin to imagine what the team will come up with next to build on these achievements.”

Staying in the UK, logistics services and online order fulfilment specialist, DK Fulfilment Ltd (DKF), has come up with a novel way of raising money for the Armed Forces charity, Turn to Starboard. The company is encouraging staff at its West Midlands storage facility and head office to take a life-size cardboard cut-out of its managing director, Mark Elward, with them the next time they are planning a holiday, family day-out or business trip.

Turn to Starboard helps serving and retired Armed Forces personnel and their families readjust after operational tours. The charity’s focus is on resettlement, reintegration and reinforcing a sense of value and belonging and it does this by using sailing training and providing internationally recognised courses which, in turn, support their beneficiaries with excellent career building opportunities.

The plan is for the cardboard ‘Marks’ to be photographed in a variety of unusual places and the images posted on a dedicated website where visitors can make a financial donation to Turn to Starboard. Robin Buxton, DKF Group’s European Marketing Manager commented:

“As well as raising money for a great cause, this is designed to be a bit of fun and we’re hoping the life-size cut-outs of ‘Mark’ will be appearing online in a range of weird and wonderful locations. Importantly, the cardboard ‘Mark’ folds down into three sections, so he shouldn’t take up too much room in anyone’s luggage!”

Regular readers might remember our piece a couple of months ago which mentioned the maritime charity and Mark Elward, pictured above with his slightly shorter cardboard version, said:

“I am looking forward to seeing where I appear. People have already offered to take ‘me’ to a football match, a mountain top, and even on holiday with them! It looks like I’ll be popping up in a range of strange places as part of this important fundraising campaign!”

WORLDWIDE – The charity SOS Children's Villages has signed an agreement to use DHL Resilience360, the risk management solution that helps companies manage risks by mapping their entire infrastructure network, building risk profiles and identifying critical hotspots, to ultimately initiate mitigation activities. SOS Children's Villages is working to safeguard children and protect their rights all over the world and will use Resilience360 to enhance and secure the safety of its beneficiaries and employees.

DHL's risk management solution keeps track of natural and man-made disasters, which can occur at any moment and in any part of the world. By monitoring potential risks, such as earthquakes, floods but also political crises, DHL Resilience360 helps to prevent disruptions of the NGO's operations and enhances fast reactions in case of a disaster. The SOS Children's Villages Emergency Response Coordination Team will be receiving vital information for all their 500 local facilities across 140 countries to help them monitor and manage threats to its beneficiaries and staff.

The SOS Children's Villages Emergency Response Coordination Team will receive all relevant information in near-real time. Alerts will be sent to gain visibility as a first step and to evaluate risks based on how close they are and their potential impact. DHL Resilience360 will also integrate satellite images, in partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), into its platform to help SOS Children's Villages assess emergency response options in areas where disasters such as flooding or earthquakes have taken place. The platform will function as an early warning system which enables prompt reaction to incidents and an appropriate response such as evacuation of children and staff. Shehrina Kamal, Senior Manager, Product Management & Business Development, DHL Resilience360, said:

"SOS Children's Villages beneficiaries tend to be some of the most vulnerable children in the world, and it is a privilege to be aiding in the dissemination and coordination of timely intelligence to ensure they stay safe."