Tuesday 28 January 2020

Germany: Fighting the cold – DB Schenker supports aid project on Lesbos

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DB Schenker, the world’s leading global logistics provider, is supporting to an aid campaign for people in need at Camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The privately-organised undertaking is based in Essen, Germany. After making a spontaneous call for donations via social media over the Christmas period, 10 metric tons of items were received almost overnight for distribution to the people living at Camp Moria. DB Schenker quickly decided to help and is now handling the transport of the donated items, which will start today (17 January), free of charge. Unprompted by management, trainees at the company volunteered to spend over a week sorting and packing the aid items into more than 1,200 moving boxes prior to transportation.

A short video shows the undertaking: https://youtu.be/i4jsd-eIjog

Oliver Seidl, Chief Financial Officer at DB Schenker, said: “Hats off to the commitment, especially from our young colleagues! We are proud to make our contribution to help people fight the cold weather. As logistics experts with a heart, we didn’t hesitate for long before bringing in our expertise to this special operation. We will ensure that the donated goods reach those in need as quickly as possible.”

Around 20,000 people are currently living in camps on the Greek island of Lesbos. About one third of them are children and teenagers. Several dozen NGOs are working to coordinate the distribution of care items on the island. Current weather conditions are making the situation difficult, due to a severe shortage of clothing and blankets to protect inhabitants against the cold.

Armin Jung, DB Schenker Branch Manager in Duisburg, said: "Our team in Germany is doing its best to support this remarkable aid project on Lesbos. It is awful to see how people on the island are suffering, especially the children. We hope that our contribution will help the needy to get through the cold winter season. For me, it is powerful to realize how logistics can actually make a difference onsite.”

The new group of volunteers, called “A heart for Moria”, want to support the work of aid organizations on Lesbos. One of the project’s founders, Thomas Siepmann, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response of so many individuals and companies to our call for action. Our collection site has piles of children’s shoes, scarves, jackets, and teddy bears. We’re so grateful for the quick and straightforward support offered by DB Schenker so that we could manage this exceptional logistics project.”

One particularly challenging factor for the logistics experts was the limited options for delivering and storing the items on Lesbos. To deal with this, the freight was divided between three swap bodies: these have been donated by vehicle manufacturers KRONE, and the aid organisations have requested that they remain on the island for future use. In addition, freight forwarders Detmers has provided a portable office unit. DB Schenker is also organising the entire transportation to Lesbos, where the aid organisations will repurpose the office container to function as an urgently-needed medical station and care unit.

The route from Essen to Greece has three stages: a rail connection to Venice, a ship to the Greek mainland, then a ferry to Lesbos.

Laureen Glušac is one of DB Schenker’s trainees for freight forwarding and logistics services. She helped to implement the categorisation and transportable packaging for the donations: “It was an exciting experience to help with the aid project for Lesbos. We were surprised how many high-quality and fashionable clothes were donated – the willingness to help here in the local area is great."

As an international logistics provider, DB Schenker regularly participates in corporate social responsibility programmes. In 2019, for example, the company demonstrated its support for protecting the planet’s oceans by, among other activities, organising a World Oceans’ Week.

(Source: DB Schenker)

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DB Schenker trainees sorting the donations © DB Schenker
Loading 10 tons of charity freight in Essen
Two of the donated swap bodies ready for their departure to Lesbos