DHL Express has delivered hundreds instruments for US and Panama-based high school and university marching bands participating in the London New Year’s Day Parade today (1 January).

More than 8,500 performers, including the 20  bands  that DHL is providing the transport for, will participate in the event, which begins in Piccadilly at midday.

Beginning 16 December DHL collected 1,300 pieces of equipment, including brass instruments, snare drums and clarinets, from the marching bands.

The equipment was then loaded onto specialist containers and transported by road to DHL’s Americas hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport.

The shipments were then delivered by air to the UK, where DHL provided warehousing until the bands collected the instruments for rehearsals.

The service also included customised labelling, monitoring, additional trucks and flights, and special handling.

DHL Express UK and Ireland CEO Phil Couchman said: “As the specialists in international shipping, we’re delighted to help manage the complex regulatory requirements involved and provide our international expertise, so these young band members can be at ease knowing their instruments will arrive on-time and in perfect condition for the event.”

DHL will also coordinate the return of the instruments to 15 US states and Panama.