May

The warm heart of transport in a strife-riddled world

2013-05-31 08:15
Mark Evans, founder of Pizzas 4 Patriots, with one of the 30 000 pizzas delivered to US servicemen in Afghanistan.

This is such a ‘˜warm’ story as it highlights in such a positive way the role transport plays not only in keeping the wheels of economies moving but also in enhancing the lives of people around the world. The core is that DHL Express has been credited in the Guinness Book of World Records with performing the largest pizza delivery in history for Pizzas 4 Patriots, a non-profit organization that has partnered with DHL Express since 2008. However, it’s what surrounds the core that really warms the heart.

In July 2012, DHL Express donated the services of its global express shipping network to deliver 30 000 Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas from Chicago, Illinois to U.S. troops serving in Kandahar, Bagram and Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The delivery, covering a distance of over 11 000km within 36 hours, has now been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘˜largest pizza delivery’.

The delivery process involved packing 30 000 ready-to-bake pizzas weighing over 23 tons onto a Boeing 777 freighter and transporting them from the DHL Express Americas hub in Cincinnati to the DHL Express air hub in Bahrain. From there, the massive shipment was on-forwarded by DHL to the U.S. military’s operational bases in Afghanistan in time for U.S. Independence Day celebrations. In order to maintain the quality of the pizzas – a perishable product – during transit, they were packed in 11 tons of dry ice. DHL Quality Control Centers closely monitored the consignment throughout the journey.

DHL employees volunteered en masse to help load the pizzas for delivery.

DHL employees volunteered en masse to help load the pizzas for delivery.

Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express, says: “Being credited in the Guinness Book of World Records represents a proud moment for all 100 000 employees of DHL Express worldwide. Every day, they strive to prove to our customers that there ‘˜Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ for DHL, taking on challenging assignments and working together across 220 countries and territories to provide secure, on-time delivery to even the most remote corners of the world. We’re very grateful to Pizzas 4 Patriots for giving us this opportunity to showcase the capabilities of DHL’s global network and the ‘˜can do’ spirit of our international specialists.’

Pizzas 4 Patriots is the brainchild of retired military officer Mark Evans and his son, Kent, who founded the non-profit organization in order to send pizzas to U.S.
service personnel stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq for major holidays and celebrations, such as American Football’s Super Bowl or U.S. Independence Day. To date, DHL has delivered over 120 000 pizzas to Afghanistan and Iraq for Pizzas 4 Patriots.

“DHL Express has been a great community partner,’ says Evans. “Through their support, we have been able to make a positive difference in the lives of U.S. servicemen
and women around the world by bringing them wonderful care packages from home to lift their spirits.’

Now isn’t that just such a ‘˜lekker’ story? Despite the strife that seems to dominate the world today, there is still a warm heart beating out there , and the trucking
industry continues to function as a large chamber in that heart.

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