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SKILLS-BASED DISASTER SUPPORT

SKILLS-BASED DISASTER SUPPORT

Expertise in Times of Crisis

SKILLS-BASED DISASTER SUPPORT

Expertise in Times of Crisis

In the face of a crisis, monetary and in-kind donations made by The UPS Foundation can make a big difference to the communities that receive them. But perhaps the most valuable asset we can contribute is our knowledge and logistics expertise.

The Logistics Emergency Team (LET), a partnership between UPS and other leading logistics and transportation companies, has been on the front lines of disaster relief for more than 10 years. The LET provides expertise and response services to the Global Logistics Cluster of the United Nations led by the World Food Programme. Since 2007, UPS responders have deployed to more than a dozen countries to enhance disaster preparedness, response, and resilience.

As disasters increase in severity and frequency, we are helping LET intensify its capacity for response as well. UPS now supports training workshops for LET responders, including one for the first group in the Middle East. These workshops train responders to provide more precise, region-specific information to the Global Logistics Cluster, which in turn helps the Cluster more efficiently transport relief supplies while avoiding the bottlenecks that often occur in the wake of disasters.

For example, in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian city of Palu in 2018, a UPS LET representative coordinated with the Global Logistics Cluster to deliver five trucks for use in daily shipments across the region. By chance, a planned LET training workshop was taking place in Indonesia at the same time, allowing the LET to set up an immediate response plan in a real-time disaster environment.

UPS has also built upon the LET approach by establishing UPS Logistics Action Teams (LATs) to provide support and help speed relief to communities affected by natural disasters in the U.S. Working with the American Red Cross since 2011, LATs leverage UPS’s transportation network, logistics expertise, and far-reaching employee volunteer base. The 2015 acquisition of Coyote Logistics and its market-leading transportation management applications has enabled us to further expand this program to serve larger geographical regions.

We have also established the UPS Humanitarian Experts on Mission Program, which places UPS logistics experts on long-term assignment to our partner organizations. One of these experts is Jim Coughlan, a UPSer for more than 30 years. Coughlan helped increase The UPS Foundation’s impact when he recognized that the supply chain expertise UPS often shared with customers could also be used to address public health and humanitarian challenges. After a brief retirement, Coughlan was invited by The UPS Foundation to share these practices as a Supply Chain Expert on Mission.

Today, he and three others travel the globe to provide support for leading humanitarian agencies such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme, Gavi, and The Global Fund. “I’ve traveled to many remote and difficult environments and countries during this part of my life,” Coughlan says. “And each of the people I meet, NGO partners, or families living in remote villages of these countries are extremely appreciative of what UPS and The UPS Foundation are accomplishing. We have an obligation to help, and our help is needed and welcomed.”

No matter how robust a local supply chain, a major disaster can change everything in an instant. When the unthinkable happens, UPS experts are ready to respond, coordinating the supplies and support needed to get communities back on track.

We also established the UPS Humanitarian Experts on Mission Program, which places UPS logistics experts on long-term assignment to our partner organizations.

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