Armed guards protect 500 tonnes of PPE gear
The first of five charter flights scheduled to arrive within the next 10 days carrying 500 tonnes of PPE products for essential service providers and healthcare workers has landed at Auckland Airport.
The shipments which include millions of disposal masks, gloves, wipes, hundreds of thousands of coveralls, and face shields ware kept under constant armed guard from the time of purchase until they leave China.
National Express Products CEO Joe Taylor says international competition for PPE has seen questionable tactics used by some countries to secure the equipment.
“What we are seeing is a frantic scramble by world governments trying to protect their own people, significant supply constraints from the highest quality manufacturers and a subsequent bidding war.
“A lot of companies around the world not used to dealing in China have not been able to export their PPE as they don’t pass Chinese customs authenticity checks. New Zealand is not immune to this. NXP, which is Kiwi owned, and our partners only deal with government-approved whitelist factories”.
“For those who are new to the competitiveness of the international supply chain, this situation may come as a significant shock - with many finding themselves operating in an environment which can only be described as the ‘Wild West’,” he says.
Joe says intervention from the Chinese Government to restrict the volume of products available for export has added another layer of complexity into the sourcing of critical equipment.
“Despite our relatively small size as a nation, our company, the NZ government and our supply chain partners on the ground have been developing strong relationships in China for some time.
“These efforts have now come to fruition and allow us to purchase sufficient quantities of PPE to meet the immediate needs of frontline police, Defence Force, healthcare and essential service workers.”
Over the course of the next week millions of units of PPE product will arrive in chartered flights to relieve local supplies, he says.
“Bringing the supplies into New Zealand has required cooperation from a number of key partners including government agencies, freight and logistics providers.”