Marken has been asked to travel to remote places in previous years but none as remote or as dangerous as the island village of Rio Tuba.
Rio Tuba is located at the southern tip of the tropical island of Palawan, near the Mindanao region of the Philippines. This community is rich with valuable nickel mines, which attract significant rebel interest. For security, the main roads leading in and out of Rio Tuba are set with military check points. Most logistics companies, if not all, have declined requests to travel to this island because it is a conflict zone.
Marken received a request to pick up/deliver samples/supplies to and from the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Hospital and Singapore directly.. Because it is difficult to convince and trust professional local agents to perform these tasks properly and maintain quality, Marken opted to use our own people do the job.
The first request for shipment from this secluded site came on very short notice in December, the busiest month of the year, during the middle of the long holiday. Marken sent its Operations Manager, who had to take time away from his vacation, to do the ?rst run for this urgent shipment. Sending our own Operations Manger to handle the shipment enabled us to ensure it was done correctly and according to our high standards. We booked a two-hour ?ight out of Manila to Puerto Princesa, bringing over both packaging and enough dry ice to maintain accurate temperatures throughout the return trip back to Manila.
Upon arrival on the morning flight to Puerto Princesa, which is the closest airport and about a 5-6 hour drive to Rio Tuba, Marken had to determine the best and safest way to reach the site either by land or sea. Persuading and contracting a personal driver for escort to the site proved challenging. Most of the drivers in Puerto Princesa who are willing to be contracted for transport to Rio Tuba carry guns with them for
protection. Marken’s Operations Manager was able to convince an exclusive driver to make the trip, and they set out on the six-hour journey. The local driver was familiar with the route and knew some of the soldiers at each checkpoint. When they reached the heavily guarded Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Hospital that afternoon, the personnel staff was ready and waiting for Marken.
The retrieval of the shipment was seamless, and the trip back went very smoothly. Marken has performed this service four more times since the first successful shipment in December of 2014. Each time we have grown more efficient, but we have not and will not ever become complacent. The “Can Do” attitude that is part of Marken’s core values as an organization has worked well for us and helped us grow our outstanding reputation for great service. Finding the most effective and efficient ways to perform each task we are given and always going the extra mile is key to building better relationships with our clients. Marken is proud to provide excellent service in a remote and risky location, where other logistics organizations are not up to the challenge.