A UPS humanitarian mission funded by the UPS Foundation paid dividends last week. Trapped Chilean miners, the beneficiaries of UPS-transported drill bits, emerged from the earth Tuesday and Wednesday after 66 days underground.
In early September, UPS officials received a call from the Chilean Ambassador. He had a dire message. Thirty-three miners had been trapped half a mile underground after a portion of the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, collapsed. The men had survived for 17 days before they were discovered, and now everything was being done to free them as soon as possible.
The company’s Humanitarian Supply Chain, led by Chip Chappelle, leapt into action, devising a logistics strategy for transporting drills totaling 26,500 pounds from their manufacturer in Bethlehem, Penn., to Chile.
By The Numbers: U.S. Trade with Chile.
"They originally wanted to ship these drills in an ocean container that would be put on board an aircraft — a really expensive way to do it,” Chappelle said in a statement. “We suggested that we move the total shipment in several pieces, and that turned out to be the best solution.”
UPS trucked the cargo from Pennsylvania to Miami, where it was shipped to Santiago, Chile, on LAN Chile Cargo, a UPS contractor. UPS then transported the drills via truck to Copiapo. The entire journey took three days. A second parcel of equipment was sent to replace broken drilling machinery using UPS aircraft from Louisville, Ky., to Miami for transport in another LAN flight.
"When disaster occurs, the biggest challenge facing the entire global community — governments, relief agencies, recovery teams, and everyone else — is logistics,” Ed Martinez, director of philanthropy and corporate relations for the UPS Foundation, said in a statement. “Logistics is central to rescuing people, safeguarding people, bringing in urgent supplies — the whole recovery process."
-- Air Cargo World is a UBM company.