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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021

Pandas, curry and poles... DHL was asked to deliver these unusual things last year


Image: Shutterstock/Joe Gough

EVER ORDER A CD, book, or work item from DHL? Standard.

But what about ordering a curry from your favourite restaurant in Europe to be brought to East Africa? Now we’re talking.

That’s what one of DHL’s clients ordered on a weekly basis last year, proving that the truth is always stranger than fiction.

The company said that in 2014 it had the opportunity to test its global transportation network with some “unusual and non-traditional deliveries”.

In August of last year, the South African pole vaulting athlete Cheyne Rahme realised four days before the 19th Africa Senior Championships that he couldn’t check-in his six-metre-long pole on his flight to Morocco.

He contacted DHL, who managed to deliver the pole to the competition venue with just a few hours to spare. Rahme went on to win a gold medal.

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DHL also transported two giant pandas from China to Belgium in 2014. The two four-year-old pandas were flown on a dedicated DHL Boeing 767 freighter aircraft, accompanied by a team of animal handlers, a veterinary physician and plenty of bamboo.

Back in 2013, DHL also helped in the relocation of three endangered Black Rhinos across different continents and nine gorillas from the UK to Gabon.

Not just by plane

While air transport is their primary form of transportation, due to pesky things like traffic gridlocks and poor weather, DHL have developed some alternative means of transport.

After “considerable negotiations” with the Nigerian maritime authorities, DHL Nigeria has been granted permission to operate a commercial boat between the Lagos Mainland and Victoria Island, taking 18 minutes instead of the usual three-hour commute.

They also use electric bicycles in Italy, helicopters for deliveries in New York, Los Angeles and London, as well as couriers on skis when parts of Germany experience heavy snowfall.

DHL also operates a canal river boat in Amsterdam, from where bicycle couriers pick up their parcels.

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