Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Freight and Logistics Industry Steps Up Again (and Again and Again...)

Tales of Good Deeds from Around the Globe This Month
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – The logistics industry has a big heart, a fact which has been proven time and time again. In the light of last week’s two devastating earthquakes which left over 400 dead in Ecuador and more than 40 on the Japanese southern island of Kyushu, shipping lines have already stepped forward with Japanese carrier Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) starting a charity drive, a tactic it has used successfully in the past, donating ¥10 million and pledging the use of its ferries to support its countrymen in their hour of need.

Doubtless as the tales of the aftermath unfold we shall once again hear of the generosity of our industry, yet so often individual acts of kindness and support pass by unnoticed. In the past few weeks alone these are some of the stories showing just how the freight sector steps up to help, plus, if you are fit and based in the UK, a chance to salve your conscience with a little effort of your own.

Earlier this month, at a leisure centre in Grimsby, Associated British Ports (ABP) Terminal Shift Manager Jonathan Plant fought his way to a draw in a boxing match arranged to support Cancer Research UK (CRUK). He raised £1400 in public donations whilst sponsored by ABP. Jon took on the bout after losing his father to the disease last summer. In March ABP, together with its partners in the Graham Lagan Construction Joint Venture, presented a £15,000 cheque to Carl Giblin and his pregnant wife Amy after Carl, from Bilton, had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

ABP director Nick Palmer also died last summer after being diagnosed with MND and the company thought the award appropriate. The Joint venture raised almost £50,000 in total for good causes including for the Institute for Translational Neurosciences (SITraN), which conducts research into MND and related conditions.

Despite being on the other side of the world the migrant crisis in the Aegean Sea has not escaped the attention of Air New Zealand. A rigid inflatable lifeboat and its engine was donated by the Bethells Beach Surf life saving patrol based in Henderson, New Zealand and has been donated to Lifeguard Hellas who will use it for both patrols and emergency call-outs particularly with the high numbers of refugees still attempting the crossing to Greece.

Air New Zealand teamed up with DHL and arranged transport for the equipment to the island of Lesbos and taking just 10 days from first hearing about Bethells Beach lifeguards team leader, Adrian Jenkins who organised a charity fundraising page to be able to assist their life saving counterparts in Greece which has already raised more than NZ$10,0000.

Freight forwarding group Ceva Logistics this month arranged a ‘Warm Winter and Gifts Campaign’ amongst its employees which prompted 1,100 of them to donate blankets, sweaters, jackets, hats and children’s presents for the less well off in Mexico. Although spring is just around the corner in many parts of the world, the temperature in Mexico plummeted to -5°C (53°F) not long ago, well below the average of 12°C (53°F) for the time of year.

The aim was to support communities where Ceva does business and at the same time build relationships and teamwork between colleagues. Eight local charities including a children’s orphanage and an elderly care home were selected as the recipients of the items gathered in by the team, and colleagues then visited both the orphanage and care homes with the donated items and spent time talking about their daily lives and sharing experiences.

There are of course organisations related to our industry which try to do nothing but good, the Mission to Seafarers being a case in point. In the UK places are now available for supporters to join the organisation’s challenge events which take place this summer. The classic London to Paris five–day Cycle Challenges kick off in June this year with events through to August, or for both runners and cyclists, the Mission is offering the chance for you to take on the famous one-day Morpeth, Northumberland to Newcastle upon Tyne (M2N) challenge. This year the M2N organisers are arranging a run and cycle route together for the very first time!

The Morpeth Northumberland to Newcastle road race, the oldest running race in the country, takes place on 17 July and you can join the fun from just £42 and raise money for The Mission to Seafarers in its 160th anniversary year! There will be three different races for runners of all ages, and for the very first time, cyclists can join in the fun too, enjoying a unique opportunity to ride a 26-mile route that begins at Morpeth, passes through Bedlington, Seaton Delaval, Earsdon, Seaton Burn, Gosforth, and finishes in Newcastle. Details here.

For those of you who crave a real adventure, look no further than the London to Paris Cycle on 31 August. The Mission to Seafarers invites you to join one of the great cycle experiences in Europe. Passing through picturesque Kent countryside, you will cross the Channel and continue through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France. With long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, the sight of the Eiffel Tower, the finishing point, will evoke a real sense of achievement. The event takes five days to complete and finishes on 4 September. You need to provide a deposit of £149 and raise a minimum sponsorship figure of £1,450 and can see more details here.

Photo: A previous London to Paris ride.