Logistics Support: Response Teams

Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) are the result of the strategic partnership between DHL, Deutsche Post World Net and OCHA.

DRTs support the relief efforts of the United Nations system and the international community. The teams provide logistical expertise for incoming shipments of relief goods. They help to ensure an uninterrupted and effective relief supply chain at the airport closest to the scene of sudden-onset natural disaster.


  • Organizing the transfer of incoming relief goods from aircraft pallets to standard wooden pallets.
  • Set-up and manage a professional warehouse at the airport, including the sorting and inventoring of goods.
  • Organize the loading of relief goods on to vehicles for onward transportation.

Period of deployment

DRTs can be deployed to a crisis area within four days for two to three weeks. By that time, the initial surge of international charter aircraft bringing aid supplies has normally decreased to a  level that is manageable for airport authorities and their local partners.

Composition of the teams

Each team comprises a pool of about 80 specially trained DHL experts at its respective home base. In addition to their normal jobs at DHL, those experts have volunteered to take part in the DRT's humanitarian work. Fifteen team members are present at any time during the deployment. They usually work with local DHL employees and additional helpers in 12-hour shifts.


Teams are equipped for rapid deployment and bring necessary basic equipment. This includes necessary IT and communication technology, office supplies and start-up operational supplies.

Areas of operation

DHL's global DRT network comprises three teams assigned to a specific geographic region. One team is stationed in Singapore for Asia Pacific operations. The DRT Americas in South Florida provides services to the Latin America and Caribbean regions, while the Dubai-based team covers the Middle East and Africa.

To activate the DRT, please contact OCHA Logistics Support at lsu@un.org.