UK-based freight forwarder Zencargo and DHL have created a collaboration with doctor-founded crowdfunded campaign Masks for NHS Heroes, creating a brand new supply chain for procuring life-saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline British National Health Service (NHS) staff.
The result has been 100,000 masks delivered on the weekend of April 12/13 and last weekend, April 19/20 a further 100,000 were delivered. With the spread of COVID-19, the UK is suffering a critical shortage of PPE, including face masks, visors, surgical gowns and gloves. To support the British government and NHS, a Crowdfunder campaign called Masks for NHS Heroes, set up by a group of doctors, is finding alternative ways to respond to the shortage of PPE through suppliers in China.
In just one week ‘Masks for NHS Heroes’ raised over £1.5 million. The money secured an initial order of 100,000 medical-grade protective eye-shields from accredited manufacturers in China. The procurement of PPE became especially challenging in recent weeks with unprecedented global demand.
Working directly with teams on the ground in China, including the British Consulate, Zencargo, who worked on a pro bono basis, was able to rapidly arrange key Customs clearances and quality control assurances, in addition to securing exemptions from duties, in order to ensure the fastest UK delivery possible.
Due to severe shortages of airfreight capacity, the goods needed to be transported on three different flights from China to London.
DHL handled the distribution of the PPE once it landed in London to hospital managers in the capital.
Zencargo CEO Alex Hersham said: “Supply chains are more important than ever, especially when it comes to those risking their health on the front line in the fight against this disease.
“We’re proud to be doing our part to support our NHS, and help ‘Masks For NHS Heroes’ continue their incredible work. As we move forward, it’s incumbent on logistics and supply chain businesses to use their skills and networks to open doors for these essential goods and do what they can to keep people safe.”