Airfreight offers help following Hurricane Dorian

DHL's DRT help unload cargo following Hurricane Dorian

Amazon is mobilising aid flights and DHL has provided ground support to help relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Meanwhile, FedEx delivered 56,000 pounds of critical aid via a dedicated flight today to help the people and communities devastated by Hurricane Dorian. 

The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs for UPS, announced today it has engaged its network of preeminent relief organisations and committed $1m for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category five hurricane with winds reaching 185mph. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were hit particularly hard.

In the country of about 400,000 people, local officials estimate that more than 70,000 are homeless and in need of food, water and shelter.

In collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Mercy Corps, and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation, the Disaster Relief by Amazon team is mobilising two Amazon Air flights, full of tens of thousands of relief items such as tarps, buckets and water containers.

In addition, Amazon launched new wish list campaigns for customers to shop essentials by September 13 to go on the relief planes.

Amazon is shipping relief items from fulfillment centers around the US to an Amazon fulfillment center in Tampa where they will be packed, palletised and transported to the Tampa air gateway and loaded onto the Amazon Air planes for Nassau.

Meanwhile, DHL Disaster Response Team (DRT) employee volunteers were on hand last Thursday to receive and unload the first widebody charter plane carrying Hurricane Dorian relief supplies into The Bahamas.

The first 34 tons of cargo delivered by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) will be transported to a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse for onward distribution to Hurricane Dorian disaster victims in Freeport, Nassau & Abaco.

Two additional cargo planes carrying a combined 76 tons of cargo were due to arrive on Friday.

When deployed, the DRT helps prevent bottlenecks at the airport closest to disaster-affected areas, ensuring essential supplies, such as food, medicine and hygiene kits keep moving – even under the most difficult

“Following a natural disaster, it is imperative to respond quickly to ensure vital, life-saving relief supplies are available to people in need,” said Gilberto Castro, senior director operations Colombia & DRT director for the Americas, DHL.

“DHL’s DRT teams utilise their logistics expertise to provide practical, effective support at airports to ensure fast, well-organised handling of incoming aid supplies,” he added.

FedEx supported the disaster relief efforts through its relationships with humanitarian organisations including Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, Team Rubicon and Water Mission.

Team members loaded a FedEx Express Boeing 757 in Memphis with medicines and medical supplies, hygiene kits, water treatment systems as well as International Medical Corps’ Mobile Health Facility.

The cargo jet also carried employee relief supplies and generators for FedEx team members. Everything was unloaded upon arrival in Nassau where relief organizations had teams on the ground ready to deliver the critical aid where it’s needed most.

On September 7, a UPS humanitarian charter flight arrived at the international airport in Nassau, The Bahamas, delivering nearly 20 metric tons of emergency supplies for children and families left reeling by Hurricane Dorian.

The shipment included shelter, hygiene and water purification emergency supplies provided by UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

With a focus on both immediate and long-term relief, The UPS Foundation is working in collaboration with its network of disaster relief organizations to address the urgent needs created by the storm


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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]