DHL launches disaster response program for Americas
DHL, working in conjunction with disaster agencies from the United Nations, launched its disaster response and management program for the Americas Wednesday.
The Disaster Response Team (DRT) Americas will provide logistical support whenever there are sudden-onset natural disasters in the United States, Latin America or the Caribbean.
The primary goal of the DRT is to help prevent logistics bottlenecks and make sure aid supplies are moving efficiently when a natural disaster strikes. DHL will focus primarily on logistical support at airports handling relief supplies.
Officials from DHL and its parent company, Deutsche Post World Net, said the primary problem they have seen in disaster response situations worldwide over the last three years is that airports closest to disaster sites are overwhelmed by the flood of relief supplies. As a result, airports are often closed when there are too many relief flights backed up on the ground. In addition, the shipments cannot be worked properly at the airports to get badly needed supplies to the people affected by disasters.
The DRT Americas is based at the DHL corporate headquarters in Plantation, Fla., near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and less than an hour away from Miami International Airport.
DHL officials said that by coordinating activities at a regional center, they can better manage operations at the final destination location.
In April, DHL inaugurated the DRT program for the Asia-Pacific area in Singapore. That DRT operation has already seen its first action responding to the recent earthquake in Indonesia.