As we know earlier this year Ukraine was invaded which resulted in a humanitarian emergency.
In the immediate few days after the begining of the conflict it was clear Ukraine needed help in the form of aid. A local international haulage owner came to us for assistance in organising and helping to get their trucks transporting donated food, medical equipment, clothing and more to Ukraine.
Without thinking we immediatekly said yes and got to work. Our Head of Customs used all his expertise in finding a way to get such varied cargo, without packing lists, into the EU. At this point no-one had done this and we were determined to rise to the challange and crack this puzzle. Having consulted a few industry bodies they didn’t believe it was possible to do. However Steve is so well versed with customs procedures he believed there was a way and we were confident the trucks could proceed to the border using this customs method . Jordon sanctioned the trips and the trucks began moving from the hub in Ipswich via ferry to the EU border.
As the goods arrived at the border we had an anxious wait to see what would happen. Hours later the goods were cleared and on their way to the handling depot in Trzebini in Poland. From there the essentials would be onward delivered into Ukraine. This single leap of faith kickstarted the use of this customs procedure for other hauliers and forwarders later that week. Discussions with HMRC explaining the logic resulted in continued consultation and assistance.
The whole operation brought many film crews from TV stations into the hauliers depot to see the logistics of packing, loading, etc in action. After two months it was eventually wound down as the depot was beocming self-sufficient within the EU. Our job we felt, was done.
Then out of the blue some months later the haulier arrived at our offices with a wonderful letter of gratitude (insert) to us from the Mayor of Trzebinia. The letter was issued to the handful of those involved in the operation and we felt uplifted by this small token of gratitude.
In businesses, services and money are frequently exchanged in what we call trade. In this instance though it made a refreshing change to do something without thinking, that was of utmost importance, for no financial gain. It reminded us of two things. First is that sometimes you just need to act because it’s the right thing to do. And second that even the smallest form of gratitude can have an immeasurable impact on those receving it. It did us.
We stay in solidarity with those suffering in Ukraine and the efforts of all looking for a resolution to the war.