Monday, February 24, 2014

The Logistics Involved When Shipping Livestock as Freight Can Sometimes be Extra Difficult

Panda's Transported as Intercontinental Cargo
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – BELGIUM – The chance to ship two giant pandas over 8,000 kilometres was too good to miss for logistics giant DHL when an enquiry arrived regarding relocating the animals from Chengdu, China to Brugelette, Belgium. Shipping any living thing as freight always poses problems but for creatures as rare, delicate and valuable as Hao Hao and her mate Xing Hui the difficulties can be truly unique. Thanks to the presence of two animal handlers and a veterinary physician and a plentiful supply (100 kilogrammes) of bamboo, the intercontinental transit was completed without undue fuss.

The shipment began at the China Conservation & Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Chengdu, China on February 22, and ended with a delivery to a specially constructed Chinese Garden at Pairi Daiza, Belgium the following day. The trip began with a journey to the airport where the two VIPs - or Very Important Pandas - were flown from China to Belgium on a dedicated DHL Boeing 767 freighter aircraft. They were welcomed at Brussels airport by local dignitaries and children from neighbouring schools, before a DHL truck took them on the final one-hour journey to Pairi Daiza.

The four year old pandas are expected to spend the next 15 years at Pairi Daiza, a 55-acre garden that plays host to over 5,000 animals. With the support of the University of Ghent, a special breeding and research program has been designed for them, aimed at helping to avert the future extinction of this endangered species. Charlie Dobbie, Executive Vice President, Global Network Operations, DHL Express, commented:

“We have supported a number of conservation projects in recent years, including the return of nine silverback gorillas from the UK to the wild in Gabon and the delivery of two rare Sumatran tigers from the Australia and the US to ZSL London Zoo for a breeding program. Safely transporting these beautiful but endangered animals furthers our own commitment to supporting conservation and environmental causes around the world. Thanks to the unique challenges of planning and executing a project like this, it also gives us a great opportunity to showcase our expertise and capabilities."

The team at the Belgian wildlife facility were delighted to see their new charges arrive in rude health prompting Eric Domb, Founder and President of Pairi Daiza, to say:

"The detailed organisation of the transport of Hao Hao and Xing Hui allowed us to meet, from the operational support to the highest levels of management, a great team at DHL. It is a real privilege to benefit from the logistics capabilities and vast experience of DHL in this extraordinary adventure for Pairi Daiza. We are highly appreciative of DHL's support for this important and historic project."

Photo: The consignment concerned – Featuring from Left to Right (Seriously? Are you kidding?)