Hu­man­i­tar­ian Lo­gis­tics: To the res­cue dur­ing calami­ties

Hu­man­i­tar­ian Lo­gis­tics is a spe­cialised area of lo­gis­tics, which re­quires ex­per­tise in or­gan­is­ing the de­liv­ery and ware­hous­ing of sup­plies dur­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters or com­plex emer­gen­cies to the CARGOTALK af­fected area and peo­ple. delves into the main cha

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - KALPANA LOHUMI

Shailen­dra Seth Coun­try Man­ager, In­dia, Chap­man Free­born

Hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics is a highly-spe­cialised ac­tiv­ity; every aid op­er­a­tion is dif­fer­ent. Chap­man Free­born has been in­volved in this field for over 40 years, whether it’s an air­drop con­tract or a more con­ven­tional cargo char­ter move­ment, we’re ac­ces­si­ble with a unique set of chal­lenges to over­come.

In terms of sud­den aid air­lift op­er­a­tions. Bot­tle­necks can quickly oc­cur if the air­port in­fra­struc­ture is un­able to han­dle the sud­den surge in cargo ar­riv­ing for on­ward dis­tri­bu­tion. Some hu­man­i­tar­ian air­lifts se­cu­rity is­sues on ground can also mean there are a limited num­ber of op­er­a­tors will­ing to fly to cer­tain desti­na­tions. This can af­fect the whole dis­tri­bu­tion chain, with aid agen­cies hav­ing to fly cargo to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries and trans­fer­ring the cargo to lo­cal op­er­a­tors with limited ca­pac­ity. We’ve seen this in the past with some hu­man­i­tar­ian air­lifts in re­sponse to famines in East Africa. While on paper there might be plenty of char­ter ca­pac­ity avail­able in the mar­ket, in re­al­ity there are a limited num­ber of car­ri­ers able to op­er­ate in the most chal­leng­ing lo­ca­tions.

A fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion with many emer­gency air­lifts is se­cur­ing fuel for op­er­a­tions in re­mote re­gions, as well as all of the nec­es­sary over­flight, land­ing and diplo­matic per­mis­sions. Hav­ing our in-house op­er­a­tions di­vi­sion Wings 24 is an im­por­tant as­set – and it’s an­other ex­am­ple of why agen­cies like to work with char­ter com­pa­nies with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in man­ag­ing aid projects.

Shesh Kulka­rni Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor - In­dia, MIQ Lo­gis­tics In­dia

It is im­por­tant that we un­der­stand the state of af­fairs in In­dia. Un­like in de­vel­oped economies, ease of do­ing busi­ness, in­fla­tion rate, cost of rais­ing cap­i­tal, pre­dictabil­ity, in­fra­struc­ture, etc are all com­ple­men­tary to both in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies which en­sures no cost over­runs and frus­tra­tions as­so­ci­ated to do­ing busi­ness is there.

While here in In­dia every mat­ter start­ing from mere walk on street, to cost of rais­ing cap­i­tal, is all a se­ri­ous ef­fort and of­ten a frus­trat­ing one too, post all this, when or­gan­i­sa­tions have to stand up and sup­port hu­man­i­tar­ian causes, many find and ex­pe­ri­ence lack of en­thu­si­asm, how­ever, many still do stand up and de­liver hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port. This is seen a lot with do­mes­tic trans­port com­pa­nies or In­dian com­pa­nies in gen­eral, who re­spond very well at hour of need.

Sec­ond aspect which has acted as de­ter­rent for in­dus­try is lack of cred­i­ble chan­nels to ex­tend sup­port. Most In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies lack the ad­min­is­tra­tive band­width to un­der­take hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tiv­ity at large-scale, while at in­di­vid­ual level, many lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies have sup­ported and un­der­taken the hu­man­i­tar­ian causes.

As com­pa­nies we still have long way to go. In com­ing years, many ini­tia­tives im­ple­mented by our present Prime Min­is­ter would in­spire and mo­ti­vate many com­pa­nies to come for­ward, par­tic­i­pate and sup­port. In­dia is on verge of change and in com­ing years one should ex­pect more par­tic­i­pa­tion of lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies in hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tiv­i­ties.

Shri­rang Ba­pat Se­nior Man­ager - Mar­ket­ing (In­dia sub-Con­ti­nent Mid­dle East and Africa District), UPS

Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and global cri­sis cre­ate dev­as­tat­ing hu­man suf­fer­ing that de­mands co­or­di­nated and swift re­lief ef­forts every year. Col­lab­o­ra­tion, ex­per­tise, in­no­va­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity to a smart global net­work are crit­i­cal to over­come the chal­lenges of en­hanc­ing com­mu­nity dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion and pre­pared­ness ef­forts, sup­port­ing ur­gent re­sponse, speed­ing post-cri­sis re­cov­ery and pro­vid­ing timely fi­nal mile de­liv­ery in in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian crises dis­rupt busi­ness, de­stroy in­fra­struc­ture and break es­sen­tial sup­ply chains. In 2016, UPS has pro­vided over $10 mil­lion in hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief fund­ing for dis­as­ter re­sponse, re­cov­ery and emer­gency pre­pared­ness, and co­or­di­nated 468 hu­man­i­tar­ian ship­ments across 53 coun­tries. UPS re­sponds by not only do­nat­ing money and ma­te­ri­als but also do­nat­ing time and ex­per­tise of UPS vol­un­teers who sup­port part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions’ ef­forts. In 2014, the com­pany pledged to achieve 20 mil­lion vol­un­teer hours by 2020. To­day, we have gone past the half­way point and have achieved 64 per cent of our goal. UPS has part­ner­ships with the world’s lead­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the World Food Pro­gramme, WHO, Save the Chil­dren, Amer­i­can Red Cross, CARE, UN-OCHA, UNICEF, UNISDR, UNHCR, Good360, NVOAD, MedShare, and the Sal­va­tion Army. In In­dia, the Pres­i­dent's Emer­gency Pro­gramme for AIDS Re­lief (PEPFAR) col­lab­o­rates ex­clu­sively with UPS to trans­port medicines to af­fected peo­ple across the world.

We trans­port ap­prox­i­mately 10,200 tonnes of sup­plies per year. In In­dia, we also pro­vide aid part­ners, such as phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, ware­house fa­cil­i­ties to store ship­ments and re­duce lead times. Glob­ally, UPS has also had a long stand­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with the United Na­tions and pro­vides sup­port for re­lief ef­forts from In­dia. In some re­gions, there is lack of ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture for ve­hi­cles to carry med­i­cal aid. Build­ing pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ships and im­ple­ment­ing our lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions keep net­works evolv­ing. We be­lieve that em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers should live in safe com­mu­ni­ties that are well-pre­pared for dis­as­ters and equipped to re­cover from them quickly to min­imise long-term so­cial and eco­nomic im­pact.

Mar­tijn Tasma Na­tional Sales Di­rec­tor, Geodis In­dia

With hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics, every stage, right from the start of the lo­gis­ti­cal ac­tiv­ity un­til the last mile de­liv­ery, is a chal­lenge. The lo­gis­tics com­pany needs to find suit­able so­lu­tions at the short­est time, with safe trans­port op­tions at a low cost. Fix­ing a ware­house & re-dis­tri­bu­tion net­work lo­cated at a prox­i­mal dis­tance from the re­lief sites is also an­other chal­lenge. Trans­port so­lu­tions some­times re­quire un­com­mon points of trans­port. If the im­pact of the dis­as­ter is of huge mag­ni­tude, it will cer­tainly af­fect the to­tal im­ports and ex­ports of that lo­ca­tion/city.

The lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies are not show­ing much of in­ter­est be­cause no one knows where the dis­as­ter is go­ing hap­pen in most of the cases. Every­thing is un­pre­dictable and can go wrong – right from the sourc­ing un­til fi­nal de­liv­ery. Se­condly, the goods are more time bound and the pres­sure is to de­liver faster all the time. Most of the time the goods need to fly on char­ter air­crafts. The lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies will have very lit­tle time to find com­mit­ted space or flight at low cost. The lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies need to have a sep­a­rate team to han­dle this emer­gency ship­ments, which is spo­radic in na­ture.

Su­mit Sharma Co-Founder, GoBolt

Be­ing spe­cialised in or­gan­is­ing the de­liv­ery and ware­hous­ing of sup­plies dur­ing nat­u­ral calami­ties or dur­ing com­plex emer­gen­cies hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics play a very cru­cial role in lo­gis­tic sec­tor. Hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics faces many chal­lenges like in­ad­e­quate train­ing to tackle an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. Poor in­fra­struc­ture can cause high dam­age to the trans­port which can re­sult in fail of the whole net­work, lack of stan­dard in­di­ca­tors and no com­pre­hen­sive plan­ning of the bulk trans­porta­tion gives poor con­se­quences. Pro­vid­ing re­lief to those who need help is what re­quires to be done by hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics. Nat­u­ral calami­ties are some­thing which can­not be pre­dicted by any­one, which thus in­crease the im­por­tance of hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics sec­tor in to­day’s world. To­day, not ev­ery­body wants to be a doc­tor or en­gi­neer, but those can ex­plore this field. Not just they will be mak­ing ca­reer, but, also help peo­ple who need sup­port.

The un­pre­dictable time, lo­ca­tion, type and size of the de­mand make it hard for lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to get it­self in­volved in hu­man­i­tar­ian lo­gis­tics. Apart from this, it is also dif­fi­cult for a lo­gis­tics com­pany to track down the lo­ca­tion, the type and size of the event and the last mile fac­tor. The goal of any of the lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies is to sup­ply high qual­ity prod­uct at a low cost to max­imise its prof­itabil­ity which can’t be done in hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­ply chain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.