Finding topics for the logistics blog starts for me with brainstorming about my own thoughts at first. What am I passionated about? Well, since I am able to read I love the marine sealife. There are many topics, especially because a huge amount of goods and raw materials is shipped over the oceans. But today I wanna write about my favorite animals: Sharks! I like them a lot, but I like them alive. But who is delivering living sharks? – A very big aquatic park does it for reasons like breeding. Even while I am not a big fan of aquarium maintenance, it helps protecting sharks by changing the wrong public picture of this amazing animal.
Transporting medium sized sharks (like the reef sharks above my head in the picture), in comparison to Whale sharks, is easy. The youtube video below shows these kind of medium-difficult transportation. (Only by additional curiosity, please prefer the points 1. to 7 for the logistics knowledge.)
But when it comes to the biggest fish in the world, (see the Whale Shark in the picture below) a super plan with logistics expertise is required.
In 2006 the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta had a demand for female Whale Sharks which are located in Taiwan. For professional logistic knowledge they cooperated with an expert team from UPS, the have the required additional dedicated resources and special expertise.
The difference to goods is that the sharks have to arrive in a psychological calm and good condition, – living, breathing and not too stressed out. Diana Hatcher, spokesperson for UPS Supply Chain Solutions said: “We set protocol and standards for the way animals are transported. We have a team with a history and expertise in moving animals.”
The whole project had three primary objectives: logistics planning; configuring the containers and securing the aircraft needed to transport the whale sharks; and customs clearance. To keep this blog entry short as possible, I foccused on the main points of this transport success as follows:
- Design a strategy: Aquarium staff & UPS’ logistics employees & loadmasters
- Reengineer one of UPS’ B-747 freighters so customized holding tanks could lock into the aircraft for proper balance (two tanks, each weighing 25 tons, including the water and the fish).
- UPS also took care of necessary customs clearance paperwork for the animals as well as the shipment handler’s documentation and experienced loeadmasters.
- Installing an Onboard-lab that enables aquarium veterinarians to proactively monitor the status of the whale sharks and check water vitals during transit.
- Getting whale sharks on the plane airlifted out of a sea pen 100 yards offshore on a Belfast turboprop fraighter
- Sharks were transloaded to specially designed trailers for a police escort to the aquarium.
- Schedule planning to make sure there wasn’t a conflicting baseball game or traffic issues to contend with while transporting the whale sharks to the aquarium.
I apologize for giving so much to read, but it was my personal issue to tell the whole story. I hope you are also excited by this slightly different logistics topic. Please keep in mind, that all sharks a very important for the worldwide eco system. I hope that successful aquariums are helping society to not forget this truth.