Shortly after Tropical Storm Ketsana hit the northern Philippines and within days of Typhoon Parma making landfall on 3 October, WFP staff were on the phone with TNT personnel discussing with TNT the transport of 200 metric tonnes (MT) of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to support WFP operations in the devastated island nation.
By 9am on 7 October, WFP Logistics Officer Irving Prado and TNT's Moving the World Project Manager Kimmo Laine had an agreement in place for the airlift of the first 100MT of the HEBs. A second load was to follow a week later as the aircraft being used for the airlift, a Boeing 747-400, could accommodate only 100MT given the flight parameters. Barely a week after Irving and Kimmo's discussions, the aircraft touched down in Izmir only to be immediately loaded with the Turkish produced HEBs and depart for Manila.
While all this was taking place, the TNT and WFP teams on the ground in Manila were establishing the systems and infrastructure necessary to handle these massive air shipments. Working closely with the Philippino authorities, the teams identified storage facilities and established handling procedures for the goods. By the time the first shipment arrived, the team was well tuned having already offloaded a number of shipments of much needed boats and generators that were shipped out of the Brindisi UNHRD hub earlier in the week.
The 747 landed in Manila at 02h00 on Saturday 17 October and the unloading process began immediately. The pictures you see above and to the left show ground crews working to unload the palletized goods from the aircraft's massive cargo hold.
The second cargo flight carrying the last 100MT of HEBs arrived in Manila on Saturday 24 October. The biscuits were immediately distributed to the most affected populations in the northern areas of the country and were also prepositioned in advance of subsequent typhoons Lupit and Mirinae which hit the country the following month.
TNT has provided WFP with support during a number of humanitarian emergencies, most notably during the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Through their Moving The World program TNT has backstopped WFP logistics teams in a number of countries around the world. You can read more about their first hand experience on their Emergency Response Team blog.