May 17, 2020

DHL Transports Black Rhinos to Tanzanian Sanctuary

Supply Chain Digital
Supply Chain
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Warning: Handle with Care
DHL has an established reputation built on speedy delivery and impeccable service. Now the global logistics company can add an additional point backing...

DHL has an established reputation built on speedy delivery and impeccable service. Now the global logistics company can add an additional point backing their ability to handle every delivery request, no matter how big or small, that comes their way. Three black rhinoceroses – male Monduli and females Grumeti and Zawadi – were successfully delivered by DHL June 20 after a daunting overseas journey.

With numbers dwindling as a result of large-scale poaching, the members of the critically endangered species were transported from the Manston Airport in the UK to the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzaniaas part of a conservation initiative launched by the Aspinall Foundation. The rhinos were born in captivity at the foundation’s Port Lympne Wild Animal Park and will make their new home in the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary in Tanzania.

DHL Transports Endangered Black Rhinos Back to Wild

Phil Couchman, CEO of DHL Express UK & Ireland said, "It was a very exciting moment for DHL to be able to serve as the international carrier of these animals, and we are proud to support this very worthwhile conservation program.”

The 10-hour journey – including a refueling stop in Bergamo, Italy – took place aboard a specially outfitted Boeing 757. First class treatment included rhino-sized life-saving devices and unique temperature controlled conditions in the cabin, while the special passengers were accompanied by two rhino keepers, two aircraft engineers and a specialist veterinarian.


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Everyday passengers may no longer enjoy the benefit of in-flight meals but the rhinos were supplied with a varied menu consisting of four bales of hay, half a bucket of carrots, half a bucket of apples and a box each of bananas, celery and spinach.

"Our greatest priority was the safety and well being of the rhinos. Our dedicated logistics experts and engineers in both the UK and South Africa worked closely with The Aspinall Foundation and Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in order to ensure they had a safe and comfortable journey,” said Couchman. “It has been an enormously complex but extremely worthwhile logistics effort."

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Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics. 

The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener". 

FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”


The changing role of couriers 

Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time. 

But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse. 

“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”

Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds. 

Last mile's role in ESG

Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings. 

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