In the context of humanitarian organisations transport is defined as:
“The activities involved in moving supplies from point of origin to internal customers or beneficiaries”.
The aim of transport is to physically move supplies in a reliable and safe manner, on time, cost effectively and efficiently to its destination.
The rapid growth of technology and the changes in the delivery of humanitarian aid has done little to change the fact that relief supplies still have to be collected and delivered.
Historically, the transportation of supplies has been regarded as an ancillary function of little or no central importance. More recently, efficient transportation has been recognised as an essential determinant in providing consistent, quality service to beneficiaries. A good transport system fulfils three of the "rights" of supply. That is, getting the goods there at the right time, in the right condition and in a cost effective manner. Summarising this thinking into a series of actionable steps, and successfully implementing those steps, will ensure timely and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. Goods will arrive as scheduled, at the right price, in maximised loads with no breakages or pilferage. A good transport system complements an efficient distribution system.
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The Role of Transport
The role of transport is to facilitate the movement of goods. This may be from points of manufacture, storage or pre-positioning, to points of use; or between hubs and distribution points; or hubs to end use; or distribution points to end use; or return from end use back to hub and pre-positioning points or manufacturers. The source and destination may be in the same country, or one may be in a different country requiring international movement.
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Transport in Emergencies
Transport management in emergencies is a complex task depending on the nature of the disaster. How it is structured is very...
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