Logistics leaders UPS, TNT, Maersk and Agility are supporting the work of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Japan by boosting vital warehousing, transport and logistics capacity for the Japanese authorities to ensure that critical relief supplies reach those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The four companies make up the Logistics Emergency Teams (LETs), a cross-company partnership that supports humanitarian relief efforts during natural disasters.
The LETs are working with the UN Global Logistics Cluster, which coordinates the logistical response of the entire humanitarian community in times of disaster. The cluster is led by WFP, which is the UN's frontline agency fighting hunger worldwide.
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 left millions without access to water, food and basic necessities at the initial stage. In the first four weeks after this natural catastrophe, the LETs handled and delivered, at the request of the Japanese government, food supplies, blankets and other relief goods donated to Japan from foreign countries.
"The LETs play an important role in supporting WFP's work in the catastrophe in Japan and we greatly value their contributions of logistics services and employees that help us supporting operations on the ground," said Martin Ohlsen, WFP Logistics Director.
• TNT has to date delivered 50,000 blankets to Red Cross locations and shelters.
• TNT has deployed volunteer logisticians to assist WFP in supporting the local disaster response, UPS has assigned volunteers to provide communications and coordination support, and Agility has a volunteer on standby should additional resources be required.
• UPS is providing customs and brokerage services as well as warehousing and transportation services, to date helping to deliver 200 metric tons of relief supplies for WFP - part of UPS's pledge of $1m in cash and in-kind services to relief effort.
• Maersk committed 125 twenty-foot containers for aid cargo and manages their delivery to logistics hubs in the affected areas.
• TNT, Agility and Maersk have also launched employee fundraising campaigns with employee donations to be matched by the companies.
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. Central to the LETs model is the partnership of otherwise competing companies to utilize their corporate expertise, local resources and relationships in support of humanitarian relief efforts in response to natural disasters.
UPS - www.ups.com
TNT - www.tnt.com
Maersk - www.maersk.com
Agility - www.agilitylogistics.com
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