Competing logistics companies unite to help Pakistan

Competing logistics companies unite to help Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan Wednesday, 29 Sep 2010 - “The LETs are an important component in our overall response strategy,” says Martin Ohlsen, WFP logistics director.

Logistics companies Agility, TNT and UPS are providing warehousing, transport and logistics support in Pakistan to ensure critical relief supplies reach the people affected by the disastrous rains and flooding.

The three companies comprise the Logistics Emergency Teams (LETs) unit, a cross-company partnership to support humanitarian relief efforts during natural disasters. The LETs are working with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

The heavy rains and flooding in Pakistan have left millions stranded with no access to food and basic necessities. In the first month, WFP reached 3 million people with food supplies and is seeking to double that number for September.

"The LETs are an important component in our overall response strategy and their generous contribution of logistics assets and personnel has significantly boosted the speed and effectiveness of our response," says Martin Ohlsen, WFP logistics director.

Agility managing director Tarek Sultan says relief operations had to be set up quickly and efficiently during disasters and logistics had a key role to play.

Dan Brutto, president of UPS International, says besides providing financial and transport support, UPS has worked with WFP to provide critical logistics, through LETs staff and facilities to help the flood victims.

Peter Bakker, CEO of TNT, says it is essential that the LETs team step in with its resources and expertise to help the Pakistani people.

Agility, TNT and UPS have provided warehousing facilities totaling 8,000sqm (86,111sqft) in Multan, Peshawar and Islamabad, and support staff in several locations. The companies also supplied refrigerated containers for storage of medicines and provided light trucks for transporting relief materials between airports, helipads and consolidated warehouses.

TNT Pakistan also provided forklifts to support the relief operations. News contacted TNT for details of the Pakistani forklift fleet but none were available by press time.

The LETs initiative is the first multi-company commitment to the humanitarian sector and was launched in 2008 at the World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

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