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Press Release: Plantation, Fla, 04/30/2020

  • Numerous flights added to transport essential medical supplies from Asia to the Caribbean, Central and South America
  • More than 168,000 shipments of masks, gloves, respirators, and disinfectant products shipped into the Americas within one week
  • DHL Express Americas partners with regional governments to deliver PPE and testing kits

DHL Express, the worldwide leader in logistics and express delivery, announced today that its inbound volume from Asia has increased by approximately 200 to 300 tons due to shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical materials needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two months.

“We’re open for business and our operations are being mobilized around the world to deal with this global crisis. We have been largely focused on bringing the much-needed supplies to protect and support frontline employees from all industries, particularly the medical professionals and first responders who continue fighting to keep us safe and essential businesses running,” said Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas. “At DHL, we are grateful for our wonderful employees who continue to work so hard for our customers and their communities during these difficult times.”

Imports from Asia (primarily China) into the Americas have increased 60% to 70% year over year. DHL Express moved more than 168,000 shipments of masks, gloves, respirators, and disinfectant products into the Americas—90% coming from China—in just one week. More than 90,000 of these shipments were destined for U.S. companies such as Adafruit, a NYC-based technology company that switched from making electronics to producing ventilator parts. This month, Adafruit partnered with DHL Express to bring Chinese-manufactured parts such as temperature and pressure sensors into the United States.

“To manufacture more essential components for ventilators, we need to get these parts from across the world in one day,” said Limor Fried, founder of Adafruit. “In times like these, it’s about speed and innovation.”

While in the Americas 40% of DHL employees are working from home, 60% remain on the front line. Since the outbreak, the company has followed a comprehensive, enterprise-wide management process to ensure operational success for its customers, while prioritizing safety for its employees and partners. The company closely follows governmental health guidelines by providing PPE such as masks and gloves, informs its employees of new safety standards, and disinfects facilities as recommended. Although pickups have decreased slightly since the outbreak, DHL Express drop-offs continue to increase, all the while employing social distancing measures such as contactless delivery and remote payments implemented to protect both customers and employees.

“Our frontline employees are our DHL heroes and it is because of their dedication and hard work during this crisis that we are able to continue delivering excellence to our customers,” Parra said.

Because overall shipment capacity has been reduced due to commercial airline flight cancellations, DHL Express added more flights to keep its operations running smoothly. The company has supplemented its own network with additional aircraft and charters needed to meet the high demand for urgent PPE shipments. At its Americas Hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), the company added a flight to Canada, which was used in the transport of 45,000 shipments of masks, surgical scrubs, gloves, thermometers and other PPE in April. Another flight from London was added, and a Boeing 777 with a Cincinnati-Los Angeles-Sydney-Singapore route was added as a permanent network change; shortly after implementation, the flight frequencies were increased from 5x per week to 7x per week, providing 110 tons per week of additional capacity.

DHL Express has also sent roughly 10,000 shipments with aid to the Americas region via Miami, with more than 180,000 tests kits going to Central America last month. The company added a Brussels-Miami flight to its Miami Gateway, increasing capacity to 225 tons per week. Since February, DHL Express has also moved more than 10,000 lbs. of essential materials to Chile, including 1 million masks, as well as special equipment needed to build and maintain respirators.

In addition, DHL Express teamed up with several governments in Central America to transport essential equipment, including 60 valves needed to create digital respirators in Guatemala and test kits to Honduras. Last week, Quito’s Mayor Jorge Yunda announced the first 5000 test kits that arrived to Ecuador via DHL, and this week, an additional 50,000 arrived in Quito.

Also this week, DHL Express donated 10,000 N95 protective masks to the Northwell Health network of hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the state of New York. The company purchased the masks outside the U.S. and flew them in to the DHL Express Gateway facility at New York’s JFK airport.

DHL Express continues its commitment to deliver essential medical supplies to the Americas region, but its help isn’t limited to just essential medical equipment. In Mexico, the company partnered with Fundación Walmart México to deliver 250 tons of food to Walmart senior volunteers, prioritized these shipments, and dedicated a dozen of its local delivery vehicles to distribute the more than 22,800 meals to seniors around the country.