We trust that many in the global supply chain management community have taken notice of the plight of those living on the island of Puerto Rico. After the effects of two catastrophic hurricanes impacting the island with Hurricane Maria being a direct hit, the island suffers from a crisis of many dimensions including a complete lack of electrical power and a desperate need for fuel, food, and water supplies. Being an island nation adds even more extraordinary challenges.
Relief supplies are being marshalled but today’s reports indicated that upwards of 9000 shipping containers of needed supplies cannot be moved from the port to inland areas of need. The challenge is allocating and distributing badly needed diesel and other fuels to power trucks and generators along with the drivers to move the containers. Portions of the country are inaccessible because many roads still remain flooded and impassable. Continued lack of electrical power adds to a human and health crisis.
In short, the situation requires an extraordinary natural disaster response from those that are highly experienced in such capabilities. There are indeed agencies and resources with such experience but we must keep in-mind the much of the Caribbean, Mexico, and portions of Florida and Texas have stretched such resources. Supplemental help is obviously needed.
Supply Chain Matters through its social media voice, is appealing to non-profit disaster response agencies, governments, cities, individual companies and supply chain services firms to volunteer what you can in services and expertise to the government of Puerto Rico. The need is in logistics coordination, amphibious, ocean and airborne transportation, construction equipment, temporary housing and other needed services. The need is now and is urgent.
We are a global community of citizens and people are in-need.
Since our and other social-media calls-to-action, business network CNBC reports some positive signs of improvement over the weekend as many cargo, storage yard and distribution companies kept their doors open in order to try and alleviate the backlog of emergency supplies like food, medicine, water and construction materials at San Juan’s port.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tweeted a photo of a Amazon Prime air cargo plane being loaded with emergency relief supplies for the island. CNBC further reports that a large Lufthansa cargo plane that had departed from Frankfurt, Germany, touched down at the Aguadilla airport at close to 7 a.m. ET on Sunday carrying 80 tons of drinking water, apparel, food and hygienic supplies for the airline’s nearly 400 employees who live in the northwest area of Puerto Rico.
Likewise, other companies, service providers and agencies have rendered assistance to FEMA in helping to alleviate the logistics crisis. Logistics company Crowley reported that one hundred percent of the FEMA cargo had been picked-up and delivered thus far.
There is obviously a lot of supply chain response work remaining but it would appear that the multiple calls for help are beginning to make a difference.
Thanks to all who have provided such help and we trust that the suffering due to this catastrophe can be a bit more bearable for Puerto Rico and other impacted Caribbean nations.
Finally, a shout out to the hundreds of emergency response logistics professionals who always strive to make a difference.