• Traditional NHS supply chains are under intense pressure from the spread of COVID-19. Logistics businesses are collaborating with philanthropic initiatives to ensure that essential medical equipment reaches those in need.
  • Crowdfunder campaign, Masks For NHS Heroes, raised £1.5m in just over one week to source much needed PPE for frontline NHS staff.
  • This has included notable celebrity donations, including £275,000 from actor James McAvoy, who has been sharing video updates on the campaign across his social media.
  • The initial order of PPE is for 100,000 protective eye-shields which have now been successfully delivered to London hospitals.
  • Zencargo, the digital freight forwarder, has coordinated the clearance and transport of the PPE from China; while global logistics experts D HL have managed the distribution of PPE to a large number of hospitals over Easter weekend. Both companies are working pro bono.

Zencargo and DHL have announced a collaboration with doctor-founded crowdfunding campaign Masks for NHS Heroes, creating a brand new supply chain for procuring life-saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff.

As the NHS attempts to deal with the spread of COVID-19, their supply chains are under more pressure than ever before. As is the case in many countries, the UK is suffering a critical shortage of PPE, including face masks, visors, surgical gowns and gloves. These tools are essential for limiting the risk of contracting COVID-19 while working in close contact with infected patients. In order to support the Government and the NHS, a Crowdfunder campaign called Masks for NHS Heroes, set up by a group of doctors, is finding alternative ways to respond to the shortage of PPE through suppliers in China. In just over one week ‘Masks for NHS Heroes’ has raised over £1.5million, including notable celebrity donations, such as £275,000 from James McAvoy, who has been sharing video updates on the campaign across his social media. The money raised has been used to secure an initial order of 100,000 medical-grade protective eye-shields from accredited manufacturers in China.  

Creating a new supply chain

The procurement of PPE has become especially challenging in recent weeks due to an unprecedented global demand. This has been exacerbated by lockdowns in India, a major producer of PPE, and strict quality control processes recently implemented in China, aimed at preventing the export of non-medical grade equipment.

Working directly with teams on the ground in China, including the British Consulate, Zencargo was able to rapidly arrange key customs clearances and quality control assurances, in addition to securing exemptions from duties, in order to ensure the fastest UK delivery possible. Due to severe shortages of air freight capacity, the goods needed to be transported on three different flights from China to London.

Expert Logistics company, DHL, will then assume control of the distribution of the PPE once it lands in London. Using their vast distribution network, they will navigate all of the challenges in delivering PPE to a large number of hospitals over Easter weekend during the COVID-19 lockdown. These included:

  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Guys & St Thomas NHS Foundation
  • Northwick Park
  • William Harvey Hospital
  • Kings College Hospital
  • Princess Royal University Hospital
  • Nightingale Hospital

Masks 4 NHS Heroes

In this uncertain time, supply chains are more important than ever, especially when it comes to those risking their health on the front line in the fight against this disease. We’re proud to be doing our part to support our NHS, and help ‘Masks For NHS Heroes’ continue their incredible work. As we move forward, it’s incumbent on logistics and supply chain businesses to use their skills and networks to open doors for these essential goods and do what they can to keep people safe. 

Alex Hersham, CEO, Zencargo

How you can help

While this campaign has made huge progress, the requirement for PPE by NHS staff will go on for months, and there is so much more we can do to help get it to them on the front line. You can be a part of this international effort to support those who are risking their lives to keep us all safe at this time. Please donate to the Masks for NHS Heroes fundraiser here and make a difference today.   

About Zencargo

Zencargo is an award-winning digital supply chain manager, working with global businesses to provide logistics services across data analysis, supply chain solutions and freight forwarding. This year, Zencargo has received the Supply Chain Management from BIFA, as well as being named “One to Watch” by the Sunday Times and joining Upscale 5.0, an accelerator for the UK’s fastest growing startups.

For media, please contact Henry Bell, Content Manager, +44 (0) 20 8068 7400 or contact coronavirus@zencargo.com