Published 9 August 2018


DHL eCommerce and DHL Express in Viet Nam Advances Efforts to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

Hanoi, Viet Nam, 8 August 2018—In order to help combat the shipping and transport of illegal wildlife products, TRAFFIC, through the USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project, delivered a capacity building workshop today for staff at DHL eCommerce and DHL Express in Viet Nam to learn how they can play a key role in helping prevent the trafficking of wildlife.

The workshop covered the local and global implications of wildlife trafficking crimes, the role of the CITES convention in regulating the international wildlife trade, common wildlife trafficking trade routes, the modes and methods used by wildlife traffickers for shipping illegal products, and risks to the transport and logistics sector. During the workshop, participants discussed potential vulnerable points along their supply chains in Viet Nam and ways to strengthen their company’s operations, staff and customers’ awareness, and reporting mechanisms for wildlife trafficking. Last October, TRAFFIC and DHL convened another workshop for DHL staff in Ho Chi Minh.

 It has become critically important for DHL to work together as a Group to identify the smuggling of live animals and their parts and derivatives through cargo, post and express channels, and to ascertain actions to reduce these risks. Our cohesive effort towards cutting off transportation links of these products to buyers is a small but important step towards ending illegal wildlife trade on a global scale

Thomas Harris, Managing Director, DHL eCommerce Viet Nam

"This training is useful as we know that wildlife is transported [through courier companies]. We want our staff to know how to check shipments for animals. This is really important for our day to day work." - Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Central Hub Manager, North, DHL eCommerce Viet Nam

DHL participants learn techniques to identify illegal wildlife products in transit 

Following the workshop, staff were awarded certificates of participation along with informational resources for further learning. In the coming months, TRAFFIC will continue to provide technical guidance to DHL in Viet Nam to support the implementation of those action points identified during the event.

“Criminal networks take advantage of the connectivity and ease of online marketplaces and commercial transport supply chains to smuggle illegal wildlife and DHL in Viet Nam is setting in motion strategies to protect themselves from this to happen through their business. The Deutsche Post DHL Group is already a signatory of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration, so this workshop could be seen as another practical step in helping to implement those high-level commitments” said TRAFFIC’s Monica Zavagli, Wildlife TRAPS Senior Project Officer.

Viet Nam ranks fourth in wildlife trafficking instances through the air transport sector[1] globally, and is the second most common destination (after China) for the trafficking of rhino horns. In recent years, Viet Nam has been on the front lines of many large-scale illegal wildlife seizures, intercepting shipments of rhino horn, ivory, leopard skins, and pangolin scales, among other commonly traded wildlife products.

This was the second workshop in the past month between TRAFFIC and DHL around strengthening in-country supply chains against wildlife trafficking. The first was held with staff in Bangkok, Thailand in late July, and also focused on local capacity building.

Many in the transportation sector are recognising the need to take action against wildlife trafficking. Recently, Etihad developed a new 20-minute online module designed to inform its employees of the business risks associated with the illegal wildlife trade and ways to prevent them. In addition, the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership has conducted trainings across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to train airport and airline employees in key wildlife trafficking hubs.


[1] USAID ROUTES Partnership. In Plane Sight. 2018.

About Wildlife TRAPS

The USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project is an initiative that is designed to secure a transformation in the level of co-operation between an international community of stakeholders who are impacted by illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia. The project is designed to increase understanding of the true character and scale of the response required, to set priorities, identify intervention points, and test non-traditional approaches with project partners.