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DHL Express’ strangest Africa deliveries include eyes, Haggis

Rahavendra said in Kenya, live human eyes are transported on a regular basis.

The Trucker News Services


DHL Express released its annual list of quirky, strange and speedy delivery requests for 2013 in Africa, which ranged from delivering nine gorillas across two continents, to transporting the Webb Ellis trophy and a specific heart internal defibrillator.

According to Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), within the SSA region there has been an increase in strange food delivery requests.

“One unique shipment to mention is a 32kg consignment of Haggis which was moved from the UK to Tanzania for an event,” Rahavendra said in a news release. “The Scottish delicacy was swiftly transported through customs and delivered in time for the prestigious event.”

Rahavendra said in Kenya, live human eyes are transported on a regular basis.

“Understandably, the corneas have an extremely short life span and are therefore highly perishable, which possess a significant challenge to us,” he said. “What adds to the complexity is the fact that the recipient is booked and prepped for surgery while the cornea is in transit. The successes of these deliveries rely on prior customs releases, dedicated delivery vehicles and a passionate team of certified international specialists on the ground. When there is no margin for error and the result could affect another person’s opportunity for sight, every stop is pulled out from pick-up to delivery.”

Another unusual personal delivery was for a customer who shipped his laundry from the United Kingdom to a Southern African country for dry cleaning.

For many people, a wedding is one of the most important and special days of their life, and the price of one’s happiness on ‘the big day’ is immeasurable, Rahavendra said.

“In light of this, 1.7 tons of fresh flowers were sent from Johannesburg to Douala in Cameroon for such an occasion. This personal request came from a customer whose two sons were getting married on the same day,” he said. “Fast forward a few short hours, and a splendor of colour was delivered to the event in time for the all important nuptials.”

For conservation, there was a transport of butterfly larvae in Kenya.

 “Any delay in the transport process would result in the premature hatching of the butterflies, from which they would not have survived. Following a similar operational process as the transport of the corneas previously mentioned, another successful, yet another unique delivery was completed,” Rahavendra said.

Rahavendra said the company is dedicated to customer satisfaction.

“The customer is at the center of everything we do and it is this customer centricity that drives us to deliver two million packages across the globe on a daily basis, no matter how unique the package might be,” Rahavendra said. “Although sometimes challenging and stressful, such requests certainly help bring a smile to our faces on a busy day.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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