Supply Chain Network to Speed Humanitarian Aid

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) has been formed to assist relief agencies in providing humanitarian aid in preparation for and in response to a disaster. Responding to last year's hurricanes in the gulf and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the group announced its official formation at the annual conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) in San Antonio.

The American Logistics Aid Network is a collaborative association that includes members of trade associations representing many phases of logistics and the supply chain. In theory ALAN will be able to call upon the combined resources of thousands of companies across the country to assist relief agencies prior to and during a disaster, develop the supply chain processes needed to effectively respond, and assist agencies in the collection, routing, and delivery of supplies to a disaster area. Companies and individuals will sign up to volunteer their skills and services in advance to the American Logistics Aid Network. In the event of a disaster, ALAN will work with government and relief organizations to ascertain logistics, supply, and transportation needs and provide assistance as required. ALAN will then contact member volunteers to alert them of specific needs and facilitate their responses.

"ALAN's mission is to unite the supply-chain community to support and assist humanitarian relief efforts," said Mark Richards, one of the founding members of the new initiative and vice president of Associated Warehouses in Los Angeles. He added that the group has been working on the initiative for the past year and is moving forward with a campaign to enlist the support of additional private corporations, industry associations, and individuals.

The following associations are the founding members of ALAN:

  • AFFI-American Frozen Food Institute
  • CSCMP-Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
  • FMI-Food Marketing Institute
  • GMA-Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • IARW-International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses
  • IRTA-International Refrigerated Transportation Association
  • IWLA-International Warehouse and Logistics Association
  • MHEDA-Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
  • MHIA-Material Handling Industry of America
  • WERC-Warehousing Education and Research Council
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