It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating a Ten Year Anniversary with our longest, and very first, private sector partner - TNT. Reflecting over the last decade, TNT has been there for us, and more importantly, our beneficiaries. They have also helped to show that businesses can make real impact on the lives of vulnerable communities around the world. In this special post, we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge their contribution in helping us to fight hunger.
TNT is known the world over as a leader in commercial supply chain and logistics, and so it was no surprise that together with WFP, we would make a tremendous team in humanitarian emergency response.
Logistics support in over 30 major disasters and 19 donated airlifts are just two small pieces of what TNT has provided to WFP over the years.
In January 2005, TNT came to our aid in one of our largest emergency responses to date -- the Southeast Asian tsunami. They offered support in four countries in the region, focusing on transportation of food and emergency non-food items – both by road and sea. Experienced staff joined WFP logisticians to help augment and set-up warehousing facilities, land convoys and sea transport routes.
At the 2005 World Economic Forum, a unique public-private partnership was formed when TNT, along with UPS, Agility and AP Moeller-Maersk joined forces to form the Logistics Emergency Team (LET) Initiative. LETs are small teams of logistics experts, whose main goal is to provide pro-bono services, expertise and assets to the Logistics Cluster, for three to six weeks, to support the humanitarian response of a large scale natural disaster. We couldn’t be more grateful for the assistance they have provided in over 10 emergency operations so far.
The response to the Haiti earthquake is a great example of the LET in action. Within days of the disaster, TNT, UPS and Agility didn’t hesitate to mobilize themselves and immediately offer help. TNT committed two airlifts from Liege airport in France, flying over 100 metric tonnes of food assistance to Miami, Florida. UPS was also on the front line, receiving and storing the food until it was needed by WFP for delivery in the early days following the quake. Agility was vital in providing support in planning, coordination and communications among all humanitarian organisations at the airport.
But our partnership has been more than disaster response.
Capacity building is something that is central to both WFP and TNT. Through the establishment of the GO Academy, TNT together with Tilburg University/TiasNimbas Business School (Netherlands) have trained TNT logisticians from around the world, including some WFP Logistics staff. Through a two-year management development program, students learn transportation network optimization as well as valuable soft skills. TNT has also funded internship programmes, providing WFP with talented young graduates to work in the areas of supply chain management and optimization. In addition, 31 TNT employees have been trained in humanitarian logistics and are ready to deploy within 48 hours in case of emergency.
And that’s not all. TNT and WFP have also worked together to create more cost-efficient and resilient national supply chains.
In early 2009, WFP was approached by the Egyptian government to review the subsidized bread supply chain. We were asked to make recommendations for a more effective and cost-efficient system to produce and deliver a staple bread called ‘balady.’ TNT provided invaluable support in a review of the supply chain. Based on their study, recommendations could bring supply chain savings estimated from USD 400 million to over USD 1 billion annually -- against a total annual value of USD 3 billion a year for the whole bread subsidy system. This project was successful in adapting supply chain optimisation models from the private sector to humanitarian field operations.
In celebration of ten years of partnership, WFP and TNT have been a fantastic match. As an amazing partner and corporate humanitarian, WFP Logistics would like to take this opportunity to say that we are greatly appreciative of TNT’s support, dedication of its staff and it’s enthusiasm to work side-by-side with us to fight hunger. Thank you, TNT!
A big thanks also goes to our Logistics staff for their continuous support in growing this partnership over the years. Anton Bilaver, Irving Prado and Lucien Jaggi, you’ve been instrumental!