When the going gets tough, the tough get going … but the smart are ready long before things turn bad. As a couple of recent announcements make clear, two of the smarter players in the logistics world are Menlo Worldwide and Deutsche Post World Net, both of which are ready to swing into action the next time disaster strikes.
Menlo, a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., announced in October that it had been selected by the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to manage emergency supplies for use in the event of a hurricane. Under the agreement, the third-party logistics service provider (3PL) will design, staff, manage, and operate an emergency warehouse, which will stock more than 4 million units of water, along with military-style rations and supplies like firstaid kits, baby formula, cots, and blankets.
When a hurricane threatens the New York City area, Menlo will begin lining up transportation services (including those of its sister company, Con-way Freight) and staging shipments to relief centers. For the duration of the storm, Menlo will monitor inventory and secure additional material to keep relief centers supplied. Afterward, the 3PL will work with the OEM to replenish supplies in the warehouse.
Also in October, Deutsche Post World Net established its third DHL Disaster Response Team in Bahrain, U.A.E. The team of more than 40 employee volunteers has been specially trained to set up and manage an airport logistics operation to sort, store, and distribute relief supplies for up to three weeks following a natural disaster.
The effort is part of a partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Two similar teams staffed by experts in cargo handling, warehouse management, inventory management, and customs were created earlier for missions in the Asia/Pacific and the Americas/Caribbean regions. DHL has already supported relief missions following the earthquakes in Peru (2007), Indonesia (2006), and Pakistan (2005); Hurricane Katrina in the United States (2005); and the tsunami in Southeast Asia (2004).