Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time for Freight and Logistics Personnel to Get on the Bikes for Trip of a Lifetime

(That Means You by the Way!)
Shipping News Feature

UK – MADAGASCAR – AFRICA – Global freight and logistics group DHL has shipped 800 bikes more than 5,000 miles around the world to Madagascar on behalf of international road haulage charity, Transaid, which is pioneering a number of projects in the country to help improve people’s access to health facilities. Coincidentally, next Friday will see representatives from all across the supply chain donning some very ‘fetching’ Lycra suits ahead of the start of Transaid’s 340 kilometre London to Brussels cycle ride.

The shipment of bicycles to the island country, which was sourced with the help of Transaid’s partner charity Re-Cycle (Bikes to Africa), is part of a programme which helps local health workers reach more patients and have a better capability to deliver medical care in remote regions. Before Transaid began supplying bikes, together with a package of training on safe riding and maintenance techniques, health workers had to make difficult journeys through challenging terrain on foot to provide medical care. Graham Inglis, Chief Development Officer of DHL Supply Chain said:

“We are committed to supporting Transaid’s life-saving work across the African continent and to making a lasting difference to the lives of so many people in the countries where the charity operates. I’m therefore delighted to confirm that, through the DHL UK Foundation, we have also successfully secured two years’ funding for Transaid’s Driver Training programme which will both provide our employees with development opportunities and enable them to volunteer their expertise to make a real difference to this much needed programme.”

DHL became a corporate member of Transaid in 2013 and has supported the charity by providing a range of pro bono services; plus it recently donated a tanker trailer to aid driver training in Tanzania. The tanker is already radically reforming the way drivers are trained to manage liquid loads, taking the emphasis away from theoretical learning and enabling more practical experience.

DHL employees have also taken part in Transaid’s fundraising cycle challenges and Graham Inglis is a member of Transaid’s board of trustees – helping the development of the charity at a strategic level. Earlier this year, Transaid’s patron HRH The Princess Royal officially opened DHL’s International Flight Centre and acknowledged the company’s commitment to embracing Transaid’s values. Caroline Barber, Transaid’s Acting Chief Executive, commented:

“In the 12 months since DHL joined Transaid they have helped us achieve so much. In particular their employees have fully embraced Transaid - from support of our overseas projects to giving up their free time to take part in our fundraising events. We’re incredibly grateful to DHL for all the support they have provided to us. They are a true example of what being a corporate partner is all about – being willing to share time and experience – which they have done in abundance.”

Meanwhile back in the UK, riders will set off from Tunbridge Wells on Friday 12 September for the grand adventure to Brussels. You can make a difference to the Transaid efforts to help with vital transport development throughout Africa by contributing and salve those guilty consciences, either by supporting one of the riders or donating to Transaid via their website or the JustGiving facility.

However it may be time to stop promising to get around to doing something and kindle that spirit of adventure by signing up for the Africa Cycle Challenge in June 2015, which will take cyclists on a ride through the beautiful landscape of Tanzania travelling the 400 kilometres between Mount Kilimanjaro and the breath-taking Ngorongoro Crater. Contact Florence Bearman on 020 7387 8136 or email for more information on this fundraiser.

If you are involved in logistics you doubtless realise the vital role it plays in all our lives. By seizing the opportunity to try the adventure of a lifetime and raise money for Transaid you will understand that your efforts will play a very real part in changing, and indeed saving, the lives of people whose everyday existence can be a struggle.

Photo: Just imagine the difference 400 kilometres on a bike would make!