Effective logistical support supplies goods and services of the right type and quantity, at the right place and time.
The Supply Chain
A supply chain is the flow of relief goods:
- from port of entry into a primary store (at sea port or international airport).
- then transported long distances (over 1000km) by rail or large trucks (20-30T) to a forward store closer to beneficiaries (100 – 300km).
- then delivered by smaller trucks (5-6T) to terminal stores in camps or communities for distribution by hand.
Adapted from UNDTMP Logistics 1993
Procurement – key considerations
- transparent – fair and accurately documented procurement.
- accountable – to donors and beneficiaries for use of funding.
- efficient and cost effective – meeting the six ‘rights’ of supply: price, time, quantity, quality, place and source.
- sustainable - minimise negative impacts on local livelihoods and markets.
- appropriate and acceptable – to local norms, practices and context.
- green – minimize negative environmental impact and enable recycling.
See the ‘Managing transport’ page for guidelines on transportation.
Storage and stock control - key considerations
- The type of goods, method of shipment (air, road), route for transportation, and method of distribution (from camps or to household groups) will determine the location and type of storage needed.
- Distribution networks (transport and storage) for food and other lucrative commodities may be subject to political interference, diversions, and delays.
- Make allowance for safe storage of goods at ports, while being cleared and provide for fuel storage as supplies may be seriously disrupted .
- Storage / warehouse facilities must be designed and constructed to provide adequate security, prevent damage to goods by the weather or vermin, allow for ‘buffer’ storage in case of delayed supplies, have a dry, flat storage area, and good access for loading and offloading.
- Keep handling of goods to a minimum to save time and costs.
Information systems - importance and use in:
- Planning logistics (e.g. forcasting demand, assessing storage needs)
- Implementing and triggering other activities (e.g. processing orders)
- Monitoring/controlling performance (eg against specifications, standards)
- Coordinating and linking supply chain across functions (e.g. programmes)
This page was last updated on 26 October 2013