The right response at the right time - logistics is the key

Published: 3 May 2013 20:35 CET

Global Logistics Service (GLS) has been the logistics backbone supporting the core work of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for more than 90 years. Naturally, much has changed in that time, but the core task of humanitarian assistance remains the same: getting the right goods to those in need, when they are needed, and then doing so at the least cost and in the most efficient manner.

While the needs are similar, our capacity to fulfil them has changed. Technology has given rise to tools and immediacy that has drastically altered the nature of managing response on a global scale. Prediction modelling helps us develop the right capacities in the right locations. Advanced web-based applications assist with demand management, and mobile technologies are used to gather and share information in and from the field.

Today’s GLS is a service with unrivalled experience and true global capacity. We are a team of experienced logistics professionals demonstrating expertise in procurement, transportation, warehousing, fleet management and supply chain set-up, all around the world, on a daily basis. We have pre-positioned contingency stock to meet the needs of more than 450,000 people at any given time and an emergency items catalogue detailing specifications for over 5,000 relief items, with guaranteed consistency of quality, reliability of supply and suitability for purpose.

Whilst supporting the work of the our National Societies, we now also extend our services on a non-profit basis to others with shared humanitarian goals, allowing NGOs, governments and other international organizations to take advantage of our logistics know-how, the reach and the consolidated buying power of the largest humanitarian network on the globe.

In the current climate, the humanitarian sector needs to be smart in how it responds to growing need by making better use of existing platforms, reducing duplication wherever possible and consolidating resources to ensure the sustainability of our efforts. This is the very logic behind why we first offered services to third parties, and the rewards for having done so – in a global humanitarian sense – are plain to see. Our aspiration remains to do more, do better and reach further.