Supply Chain Planning: critical for last mile delivery

Supply Chain Planning: critical for last mile delivery

DAMCO, as part Maersk Transport & Logistics Group, has historically been at the forefront of Aid & Relief initiatives due to its established extensive footprint in Africa.  

To manage large scale programs for USAID, UN, UNICEF, WFP & Global Fund, we have seen organizational “expertise islands” evolve over time throughout Africa.

The key to success for these large scale programs is the orchestration of these expertise islands to ensure goals are meet timely and efficiently. To enable this coordination, early involvement of all parties in the Supply Chain Planning Process is an essential element.

One of the key organizational challenges today is to get vital pharmaceutical supplies to hard-to reach communities. Often airport or ocean port locations in remote countries lack access to cool room facilities. This so called ‘last mile’ logistics for temperature sensitive products, like vaccines and reagents, calls for even more critical planning to ensure an unbroken cold chain.

Close coordination with logistics providers early in the program allows for critical steps to be analyzed and outlined correctly. Planning upstream, often from the originating locations of the goods, ensures a smoother last mile delivery.

Pre-clearance solutions, allowing the release of goods immediately upon arrival at ports, is an example of this supply chain planning. It also enables immediate repacking with dry ice or gel packs before the move to an inland chilled storage location, often far away.

In Haiti, a requirement for mobile cool storage at destination using donated reefer containers on chassis, showed how pre-planning to position equipment solved challenges identified in the assessment stage.

Coordinating the release of containers from a port in South Sudan to cope with the receiving warehouses capabilities is another example where immediate cost savings, like removal of detention and demurrage charges, were achieved.

Planning, communication and orchestrating the supply chain at each node delivers efficiency and cost savings, especially when considering last mile delivery.


DAMCO are Bronze Sponsors of the upcoming AIDF Global Summit taking place on 5-6 September in Washington D.C. 

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