Breaking Through the Embargo – One Container’s Epic Journey

April 03, 2016 , , ,

The freight-forwarding industry can be exciting at times, and the story of this one container of medical supplies is no exception! We were delighted to take part in this vital service and provide our help and support throughout the journey.

 

Point of Origin

In May 2015 we were appointed canadian online casinos to transfer a shipping container with much-needed medical supplies from Australia to the Dhulikhel Hospital in Nepal. Community organisations from all over Australia had banded together to donate hospital beds, wheelchairs, medical instruments and other necessities to the hospital just west of Kathmandu, which had been rocked by both the April 2015 and May 2015 earthquakes.

April and May Nepal Earthquakes
April and May Nepal Earthquakes Image source: wikipedia.org

 

Nepal is a landlocked country, and no shipping lines had services through to Nepal. So we arranged shipping to Kolkata in India, and worked closely with our client who was responsible for clearance in Nepal and delivery via truck to Kathmandu.

We arranged the export booking with APL and coordinated collection of the container and lodgement at the wharf. From there, with the bill of lading and handover to the shipping line, the container set sail on its month-long journey to Kolkata.

 

Hitting a Speed Bump

After the necessary paperwork and communication had been straightened out on arrival, the container left Kolkata for Kathmandu by truck, a journey that should have only taken eighteen hours.

Kolkata to Dhulikhel
Kolkata to Dhulikhel Image source: Google Maps

 

India, Nepal’s neighbour on three borders, accounts for 60% of the nation’s foreign trade, most of which passes through the Birgunj checkpoint on the southern border. It was at this checkpoint that the Madhesis, unhappy with Nepal’s new constitution, conducted an “unofficial blockade” in protest. As a result, the flow of fuel, cooking gas, medical supplies and other necessities into Nepal came to an abrupt halt.

Unfortunately, our sojourning container was caught in the 25km-long line of trucks unable to pass through the “blockade” for more than two months. Our client and their counterparts in Nepal spent many frustrating weeks trying to clear customs and get the supplies to their destination, which for a long time went nowhere.

 

Getting a Breakthrough

Dhulikhel Hospital
Dhulikhel Hospital

 

Persistence does pay off, and the community of Nepalese people waiting for these desperately needed supplies did not ease the pressure on customs and border officials.

At one point it was suggested that the container be sold, the goods loaded onto the back of a local Nepalese truck and transported to the hospital this way. The answer from our client was a resounding “NO”. The goods had left Australia in prime condition, and they wanted them to end their journey the same way.

Eventually, through the determination of the Nepalese hospital community, the truck was allowed through the checkpoint and given an allowance of diesel to complete its journey.

 

Mission Accomplished

At long last, the shipping container arrived at the Dhulikhel Hospital on the 27th November. It had taken four months to get there.

 

Unloading the container
Unloading the container
Happy recipients
Happy recipients

 

Facebook Post

 

We were privileged to be a part of this epic journey and provide our service and support along the way wherever we could. Our client’s humble shipping container had quite the adventure, but its eventual arrival represented a major benefit to the local Nepalese community relying on the Dhulikhel Hospital.

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