Disaster response nonprofit Airlink has created a comprehensive guide for humanitarian organizations sending relief cargo by air.
Airlink’s Air Logistics Preparedness Guidance Note takes an in-depth look at the complexities of humanitarian logistics, and outlines ways to mitigate some of the risks that are present when organizations send aid cargo in emergencies.
“The final product is essentially a ten-step guide accessible to our NGO (non-governmental organization) partners and the broader humanitarian community,” says Airlink Humanitarian Programs Director Liz Bloomfield. “Our goal is to facilitate efficient and effective movement of relief goods and passengers by air. The best way to accomplish that is to ensure the supply chain is running smoothly.”
From preparation of a cargo movement request, to dispatch of the shipment to the point of embarkation, the guide clearly outlines each step in the shipping process and potential hurdles organizations may face. The second step – compliance with dangerous goods regulations (DG) – reminds NGOs to carefully check their shipment for common relief items, like bug spray, that can be categorized as DG, and serves to outline additional paperwork and packing requirements associated with shipping these specific products. Building this kind of understanding ahead of time helps NGOs prepare before the next emergency, and helps ensure they can act quickly should complications arise.
“The last thing we want to have happen is relief items failing to arrive when and where they’re needed because a shipment was packed or labeled incorrectly,” Bloomfield says. “While the guide is not an answer to every potential airfreight pitfall, we hope it brings a greater understanding of the basic requirements to send cargo by air in emergencies.”
Through a generous Arconic Foundation grant, Airlink conducted a series of interviews with Airlink partners and other humanitarian agencies to understand challenges, best practices, knowledge gaps, and emerging trends in the shipment of humanitarian aid.
“The support we received from Arconic Foundation and our nonprofit partner network on this project speaks volumes to the power of partnerships in humanitarian relief,” Bloomfield says.
See the complete guidance note on Airlink’s website and watch a video of the ten steps.