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UPS has been responding to disasters around the world for decades, usually in close collaboration with top humanitarian relief agencies.



In recent years, we have developed our own Logistics Action Teams that help humanitarian relief agencies enhance their capabilities before and during disasters. We’ve also continued our commitment to capacity-building and technical expertise with our relief partners, to increase their overall logistical efficiency.
Superstorm Sandy
Sandy dealt a powerful, deadly blow to the U.S. coastal states of New York and New Jersey. UPS quickly pledged US$1.5 million in cash and in-kind support to aid in the recovery efforts. This included a US$250,000 grant to the American Red Cross, US$250,000 in logistical aid for urgent response, and an additional US$1 million in cash and in-kind support to a variety of relief organizations assisting in the region’s longterm recovery. One of those organizations is the St. Bernard Project (see below).

UPS is a major supporter of the American Red Cross (ARC), and we were working together before the storm hit to establish Logistics Action Teams locally, develop supply chain enhancement initiatives, and look at new technologies. Throughout 2012, UPS had pre-positioned ARC supply trailers. As the storm approached, we began moving trailers into the area. Immediately after Sandy passed through, we also moved more than 100 trailers containing water, winter coats, blankets, cleaning supplies, generators, and comfort kits. UPS volunteers worked with the ARC to deliver meals doorto-door in hard-hit areas such as Staten Island, New York. See next page.

We also made sure our own operations were up and running soon after the storm passed, so that we could deliver to our customers much-needed shipments coming in from friends and family members. As soon as conditions allowed, UPS drivers were back on the road making deliveries – to the surprise of residents whose streets were still flooded.
UPS delivery to ARC, Jersey City, New Jersey
Famine in the Sahel
Early in 2012, severe drought and political instability put a million children at risk of life-threatening malnutrition across the Sahel region of West and Central Africa. Tens of thousands of children were treated at rehabilitation centers for severe malnutrition, due to poor harvests, high food prices in a region with difficult logistics, and an armed conflict in Mali that drove an estimated 200,000 refugees into other countries in the Sahel.

UPS responded by donating three humanitarian relief flights. The first airlift came at the urgent request of UNICEF, one of our long-time humanitarian relief partners. As we learned more about the scale of the crisis, we quickly offered two additional flights, which consolidated shipments from UNICEF, the U.N. World Food Programme, UNHCR, CARE, and other agencies. In all, we transported nearly 289 tons (262 metric tons) of supplies to Mali and Mauritania. The shipments included food, medicines, and UNICEF’s School-ina- Box kits for the region’s children, along with portable warehouses used to store and distribute supplies. Our global logistics network coordinated supplies from multiple countries and consolidated them at our European hub in Germany before delivering them to the Sahel.

UNICEF Education Kits for refugee children delivered by UPS. Photo credit: © U.S. Fund for UNICEF / M. Brandt / 2012
St. Bernard Project


Communities hit by natural disasters have a long road to recovery once their basic human needs have been met. The priorities then shift to rebuilding homes and lives. That’s why we support the St. Bernard Project (SBP) with grants, an executive loan program, and skilled volunteers from the ranks of UPS employees. SBP was founded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to rebuild houses in the neighborhood known as St. Bernard Parish. Its leaders quickly realized they needed to improve their logistics and document their processes more effectively if they were to efficiently rebuild houses using donated funds and volunteer time. UPS signed on to advise about the logistics of warehousing and commodity tracking, and how IT could help. Toyota USA and GlaxoSmithKline also provided expertise in key areas.

Seven years on, SBP is still rebuilding homes in New Orleans. One difference is that the average time to rebuild a home has improved 47 percent, from 116 days to 61 days. Another is that SBP can now efficiently replicate this success in other communities, after learning from UPS experts how to identify and document key processes. With UPS support, SBP applied its labor and expertise in Joplin, Missouri after it was hit by tornadoes in 2011, and is actively engaged with communities in the northeastern U.S. affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In both cases, SBP employed replicable processes that could be applied quickly and efficiently in more than one place – just like UPS and its global logistics network.