Shipping companies answer call for tsunami relief

Mar 22, 2005
Author: P&S

When the call went out recently from the 1860 Heritage Foundation, a South African Indian cultural organisation, for assistance with providing relief material to tsunami victims in South East Asia, the answer was not long in coming.

According to Ashwin Mohanlall, secretary-general of the 1860 Heritage Foundation (in picture), everyone appealed to by the Foundation gave of themselves willingly and made the shipment of 15 containers of aid material possible at no expense.

First the goods – eight containers of garments – were obtained from the SA Revenue Services (SARS) Department of Customs state warehouse in Durban, where the clothing apparel had been confiscated by customs. In terms of government policy this could be distributed only to charitable organisations or destroyed and the appeal from the Foundation fitted the bill exactly.

Next the shipping company Mitsui OSK Line, better known as MOL offered their services with free shipping on one of their container vessels, as well as the free use of MOL containers.

Other local companies that came to the fore with assistance were Freight Dynamics, who handled all transport arrangements, SA Container Depots who undertook the re-packing of the containers at the Durban warehouse, Goods in Transit who handled all the necessary paperwork at no cost, and finally SA Port Operations (SAPO), who waived cargo-handling charges at the Durban Container Terminal.

On Monday, 21 March all nine containers – eight packed with garments for victims in Sri Lanka, and another packed with rice collected or paid for by the 1860 Heritage Foundation and destined for Indonesia, were loaded on board the MOL Oueme in Durban harbour, from where they will be delivered by sea.

A further six containers are to follow at a later date to a destination still to be decided, said Mohanlall. He said that in addition to this week’s shipment 100,000 water treatment tablets valued at more than R60 000 had already been airfreighted to India.

picture above by Terry Hutson



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