A world of quirky delivery requests

2014-01-29 00:00

GORILLAS, haggis and live human eyes. These are just some of the strange items a shipping company had to transport last year.

DHL Express recently released its annual list of quirky, strange and speedy delivery requests for 2013, which ranged from delivering nine gorillas across two continents, to transporting the Webb Ellis rugby trophy and a specific heart internal defibrillator.

According to head of marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Sumesh Rahavendra, within the SSA region there has been an increase in strange food delivery requests with each passing year.

“One unique shipment to mention is a 32 kg consignment of haggis [a Scottish dish] which was moved from the UK to Tanzania for an event.”

Rahavendra says that in Kenya, live human eyes are transported on a regular basis.

“Understandably, the corneas have an extremely short life span and are therefore highly perishable, which possess a significant challenge to us. What adds to the complexity is the fact that the recipient is booked and prepped for surgery while the cornea is in transit.

“The successes of these deliveries rely on prior customs releases, dedicated delivery vehicles and a passionate team of certified international specialists on the ground.

“When there is no margin for error and the result could affect another person’s opportunity for sight, every stop is pulled out from pick-up to delivery.”

Another unusual personal delivery was for a customer who shipped his laundry from the United Kingdom to a southern African country — for dry cleaning.

Then there was the 1,7-ton consignment of fresh flowers sent from Johannesburg to Douala in Cameroon for a wedding where two brothers were getting married on the same day.

Rahavendra says that on the conservation front, an interesting delivery in Kenya included the transport of butterfly larvae. “Any delay in the transport process would have resulted in the premature hatching of the butterflies, from which they would not have survived.”

DHL Express delivers two million packages across the globe on a daily basis.

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