Airbridge International Agencies has become the first UK-based air cargo company to partner with Mercy Ships for the charity’s annual Cargo Day initiative.
Mercy Ships Cargo Day has been running for two years and is a fundraising campaign that asks the shipping industry to unite on 3 October to donate cargo, commissions, address commissions and individual pledges to Mercy Ships, raising money for medical programmes in countries that the Africa Mercy hospital ship visits.
Last year ship owners, charterers, brokers, port agents and inspection companies united to donate more than £500,000 to the charity and Mercy Ships is calling on the air cargo industry to help smash that target in 2018.
Airbridge International Agencies (AIA) chief executive officer, Mark Andrew says: “For AIA it just looked like a perfect match to find a charity that is involved in logistics like us. With Mercy Ships, you are giving to an organisation that is actively going out to different places to heal people – be it children or adults – so every day is different.”
Andrew says as one of the largest independent cargo GSAs, it represents a number of airlines that can potentially offer airfreight capacity for urgent shipments, and he intends to get the airfreight industry involved in Mercy Ships Cargo Day.
Mercy Ships UK corporate partnership manager, Charlene Cree says: “We are thrilled to have AIA onboard for Cargo Day this year, and we hope that other air cargo companies will follow their example and join our campaign too.
“Two out of every three people in the world cannot access the safe surgery they desperately need, and Mercy Ships thinks this is unacceptable. Together we can change the odds for these people.”
Mercy Ships operates the largest charity-run hospital ship in the world, delivering free, safe medical care to some of the world’s poorest countries, treating conditions including dental and eye problems, cleft lips and palates, tumours, club feet, childbirth injuries and burns.
Since 1978, Mercy Ships has visited more than 70 countries, providing services worth more than £1 billion that have directly helped more than 2.5 million people.