Remote logistics: A lifeline to the outside world

From Iceland to ice land in 36 hours

Thanks to DHL's global express shipping, an urgently needed emergency replacement satellite phone was sent halfway around the world to Antarctica – within 36 hours. That's the power of global trade.

Iceland-based company Arctic Trucks supplies vehicles for high-profile expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. Every summer, an Arctic Truck expedition makes a perilous journey to build an ice-runway on the Antarctic Plateau. It is at this key location that scientists rest and refuel before flying on to their facility where they conduct vital research on global climate change. If something goes wrong under these extreme environmental conditions, it can have serious consequences.

Antarctica - an extreme challenge


When Arctic Trucks operate in Antarctica, they cannot rely on anybody else – because there is nobody else. They are on their own. With extreme weather conditions and temperatures as low as minus 55 degrees in the summer, a deadly storm can be only minutes away on the Polar Plateau.

There is nowhere more extreme on earth to build a runway. So when one of Arctic Trucks' satellite phones failed, it was an unacceptable risk because that device was their lifeline to the outside world. They needed a replacement and they needed it fast.


Research stations in Antarctica operated by around 30 countries


Meter estimated rise in sea levels from melting West Antarctic ice sheet


The world's coldest temperature, measured at the Polar Plateau on Aug. 10, 2010


4 Years


6,939 KM





How we supported arctic trucks with our express delivery

5:01 p.m., Antarctica, 83 degrees south

Gudmundur Gudjonsson informs Arctic Trucks headquarters in Reykjavík that one of their satellite phones went down.

5:17 p.m., Arctic Trucks headquarters, Reykjavík

Arctic Trucks calls Hjorleifur Ragnarsson from DHL Iceland to ask him if DHL can express deliver a replacement phone to Antarctica as quickly as possible.

5:34 p.m., DHL office Iceland

Hjorleifur Ragnarsson mobilizes DHL network and contacts customs clearance services in South Africa.

8:45 p.m. next day, Johannesburg airport

The replacement satellite phone is on board a DHL aircraft heading for Antarctica.

4:48 a.m. next day, Antarctica, 83 degrees south

The replacement satellite phone is handed over to Gudmundur Gudjonsson. Mission accomplished.

Published: October 2020

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