January 25 - The importance of logistics and the humanitarian supply chain has been in clear evidence following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

The magazine's inbox has been inundated with press releases from freight forwarders and transport service providers which demonstrate that they are essential to the emergency response.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has operated a third flight as part of a humanitarian cargo delivery programme. The flight from Paris-Vatry Airport in France followed operations to Port-au-Prince from Geneva and Örebro. Volga-Dnepr completed its first aid flight within 24 hours of the earthquake. 

Volga-Dnepr's IL-76TD-90VD (picture below) aircraft carried 30 tonnes of supplies, including search and rescue and emergency medical equipment. The aircraft landed in the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince. 

Maximus Air Cargo joined forces with the UAE Red Crescent to step up aid assistance and a B747-400, chartered by the airline, carried 100 tonnes of urgent relief supplies. This included medical supplies and equipment, tents and blankets. 

The mission, which was accompanied by two Red Crescent officials, flew first to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic where red tape was significantly reduced due to the assistance of the Dominican Republic Embassy in Abu Dhabi. On arrival the flight was met by the Red Crescent team who had flown ahead to ensure rapid deployment of the aid. 

Maximus also carried Austrian Red Cross relief cargo from Vienna including a variety of urgently needed resources including protective equipment, tools and latrines. Vienna International Airport lent support to the mission by waiving landing and parking charges and discounting handling charges. 

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering's worldwide offices have also been extensively involved with the effort to get search and rescue teams and emergency relief supplies to thousands of people affected by the earthquake. 

The global aircraft charter specialist has overseen the delivery of hundreds of tonnes of relief cargo from the USA, Europe and the Middle East on behalf of international aid agencies. 

Aid has been flown into airports including Port au Prince (PAP), Haiti and Santo Domingo (SDQ), Dominican Republic on chartered aircraft including L-100 Hercules, AN-12, IL-76, DC-8, MD11, B777F and B747 freighters. 

Chapman Freeborn chartered IL-76 destined for Haiti (Loading at TOJ). 

Operations on the ground in Port au Prince and Santo Domingo are being overseen by Chapman Freeborn logistics experts, who were immediately deployed in the wake of the disaster. 

Chapman Freeborn's passenger charter expertise was also utilised by American and European search and rescue organisations, with charters to Port au Prince and other regional airports on B737 and B767 aircraft.

Chapman Freeborn chartered B767 aircraft used to transport search and rescue teams.

Resources have been set aside by the major 3PLs to support such humanitarian needs. DHL has a 'Disaster Response Team' that is working on the ground in Haiti with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), advising on logistics management. Other logistics service providers have similar capabilities, with TNT, UPS and Agility providing teams to the UN's World Food Programme. DBSchenker and Lufthansa are also providing dedicated airfreight capabilities. 

All of this news has left the editorial team at HLPFI pondering whether, in times of need such as these, it would be useful if a solution could be found where logistics resources are pooled and managed.