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    Elephants On Board

    Category - Success stories

    Unitrans is one of the oldest freight forwarding companies in Armenia where cargo transportation is an everyday work. Unitrans transports a wide array of cargoes – from the smallest, such as а vial with human blood from a donor in Armenia to a cancer patient on another continent, to the largest, such as a generator that weighed 187 tones and was carried by airplane in one piece. The transportation of this unprecedented heavy cargo is registered in the Guinness Book of Records.



    In 2014 however, the most favorite shipments were the two elephants. The charitable transportation, a close cooperation between the DHL Georgia and Unitrans, was carried out in the night-time with a special escort from the Ministry of Emergency Situations in order to mitigate the day-time summer temperatures and avoid the noise and disturbances of the highways.




    The preparations and arrangements started in the spring of 2014. There were to be two shipments: one from Yerevan to Tbilisi with the “Armenian” Hrantik on board, and the second from Tbilisi to Yerevan with the “Georgian” Hrantik Junior. A 20-feet container weighing 4.5 tons was reinforced, heightened, and equipped for this purpose by the Yerevan Zoo. A 12-meter flatbed truck was designated for transportation in order to provide enough space for a water tanker and hay supply for the elephants.



    After months of planning and preparation works, Hrantik arrived at the Tbilisi Zoo on June 12, 2014, while Hrantik Junior arrived at the Yerevan Zoo early in the morning of June 27th in the same container.


    If only for their physical dimension and weight, the elephants could be considered standard cargoes weighing 6 and 2 tons respectively. However, being live animals, their behavior during transportation could be unpredictable and that is what made the transportation activity risky.



    The elephants were fastened in the container in such a way that they would not get hurt during transportation. A specially trained team of doctors and assistants travelled along with the elephants. The truck was stopped regularly for the assistants to pour water on the elephants in order to satisfy their thirst and take the edge off the hot temperatures inside the container.



    Although not easy, the elephants were successfully exchanged between the two zoos with lots of love and caring by the transporters.


    Freight forwarding is usually considered an unemotional and tedious job. But every time the elephants are mentioned, a smile lights up the Unitrans team members’ face and their eyes begin to shine warmly…