Logistics Industry Responding to Crisis in Haiti; How You Can Help

American Logistics Aid Network looking to organize relief efforts; links to additional channels for assistance

New York — January 15, 2009 — As international aid agencies scrambled to provide assistance to earthquake-stricken Haiti, global logistics firms mobilized to provide both financial and practical support for relief efforts on the shattered island.

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) said it is working to coordinate support by U.S. logistics companies. Parties interested in joining their efforts can go to their Web site.

National Public Radio also has posted a list of additional channels for assistance. The NPR page can be found here.

In addition, an article in PC World magazine offered some of the same information, but also included some warnings about potential scams claiming to be associated with relief efforts. Read more here.

Various logistics firms already have announced support for the relief efforts:

  • Deutsche Post DHL said it has sent in the first logistics team for on-the-ground logistics support to the international relief effort in Haiti.
  • UPS said it would contribute $1 million to relief groups, and the pilot's union at the company said its members would volunteer their services for flights to the island.
  • FedEx reported that it was working with its designated charitable relief organizations to help ensure aid is on the way to Haiti and would provide transportation services for several organizations as soon as conditions allow.

Tuesday's earthquake, measured as a magnitude 7, had severely damaged the port at Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince, and the facilities there remained closed, according to new reports, which also said that the city's airport was damaged but still open.

With local government agencies overwhelmed and little coordination among agencies trying to bring relief supplies into the airport, however, aid agencies were finding it difficult to begin the process of getting food, water and medicines out to victims of the earthquake.

"It's a logistical nightmare," a United Nations spokesperson told The Associated Press, according to news reports.