UPSer Shares Why He Hearts Logistics
[Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on the UPS Blog]
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Business Civic Leadership Center’s national conference, which was focused on corporate citizenship. While there, I led one of four rotating sessions focused on skills-based volunteerism and had the opportunity to share a bit about what UPS does to apply its logistics expertise to relief agencies before and after urgent humanitarian relief situations.
As director of humanitarian logistics at UPS, I spend 100 percent of my time working with the American Red Cross, CARE USA, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (all of whom are supported by The UPS Foundation and considered to be primary partners). They also receive grants as well and in-kind transportation. As for my role, I focus on capacity building efforts – reviewing their supply chain, warehousing and logistics operations, identifying opportunities to improve their effectiveness and efficiency and working with them to develop solutions that will ensure that when urgent humanitarian situations arise, they are even better equipped to respond. My main responsibility happens on a daily basis before the disaster becomes news.
While I’m focused on capacity-building activities, several of my UPS colleagues are focused on logistics, transportation and operations after disaster strikes. Specifically via the Logistics Emergency Team with the World Food Programme (internationally), and the Logistics Actions Team developed with the American Red Cross (domestically), UPS team members are able to volunteer their expertise for significant impact following a disaster for one to six weeks at a time depending upon the situation. And, in 2011, UPS provided $2.7 million of in-kind transportation support and provided 200 shipments to 34 countries. We also have UPSers who are on loan in Joplin, Mo., assisting with the post-crisis recovery effort. While these aren’t the only skills-based volunteer opportunities at UPS, they do present a unique, highly rewarding way to apply our team members’ logistical expertise for the betterment of the world around us both domestically and internationally.
As a UPS employee, our humanitarian relief work brings me a lot of pride. Logistics and transportation are rarely considered an NGO’s core competency and one where there is tremendous need. Being able to help these critical relief agencies with highly specialized skills is an incredibly rewarding experience and just one of the many ways UPS shows that we heart logistics!