Aiding and abetting

Amidst the relief and in some cases cautious jubilation that the economic turmoil of 2009 was receding and 2010 would herald brighter prospects, the Haiti earthquake struck creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in history. With no internal emergency capability and a completely devastated infrastructure, thousands dead and many more homeless and without […]


Amidst the relief and in some cases cautious jubilation that the economic turmoil of 2009 was receding and 2010 would herald brighter prospects, the Haiti earthquake struck creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in history. With no internal emergency capability and a completely devastated infrastructure, thousands dead and many more homeless and without food, water or sanitation, the world’s second poorest country was in dire need.

The emergency response to the catastrophe was swift – not swift enough, some critics charge – but within literally hours, relief flights were being organised and the first advance teams were on the ground. This event and many others before it all visibly demonstrate the vital importance of logistics and air freight in getting aid relief to those who need it. The expertise and resources within the industry are, in a great many cases, far exceeding those of relief organisations and even the UN.

A number of the big integrators for example, have disaster response teams always on stand-by for exactly just this kind of situation. Sadly in the current effort, things have not gone quite so smoothly on the ground, with vital aid being stuck at the airport or not finding its way to those who really need it. But despite the problems, it is a generous effort that the entire air cargo/logistics industry should rightly be proud of. We hear constantly these days about ‘corporate social responsibility’, but it is times like this that the words are transformed into action.