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Off to work we go...in South Sudan

Yesterday (Monday), I honestly thought it was Wednesday. I think I've been a little too distracted with work and my co-workers arrivals and departures to be able to keep accurate track of what day it is. Perhaps I just need a break from writing.  Or, maybe it was just a MONDAY experience, straight up.

WFP Shipping goes green and takes to the skies to reduce their carbon footprint

To achieve savings in freight costs, WFP Shipping has engaged the services of Beluga GMbH of Bremerhaven, Germany to deliver shipments of food assistance using wind powered technology. The shipping line has deployed SkySail technology to offset the demands of the shipboard power units thus reducing fuel consumption. The ‘kite’, which is tethered to the bow of the ship, uses ocean winds to pull the ship through the ocean.

WFP just launched their new NFI tracking system but they don’t want you to use it

Why?  Because the new Temporary system is so darn cool that you might just fall in love with it and refuse to give it up when they roll out our even better Interim tracking system later this year. That’s right, this is just the first of several systems that the development team is working on. The Temporary system is an impressive piece of work and, despite the developers’ best efforts to downplay it’s functionality, we are going to spill the beans and tell you exactly what it can do. (Actually, they are thrilled that we’re giving you a first look.)

Incredible video interview with Pierre Carrasse, WFP’s Chief of Aviation

A number of weeks ago we embarked on a project with the intention of showing you what kind of people work for WFP Logistics. We asked a group of three unique individuals if they would agree to be interviewed on film. All three graciously agreed to speak with us about their experiences. They were chosen because of their familiarity with various sections in the logistics group. The other two video interviews will be posted in the coming weeks.

The Boys from Brindisi

A few weeks ago we had the honor of receiving a visit from the UNHRD team based in Brindisi. For those of you who don't know UNHRD (United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot) maintains a coordination base on Italy's southern coast from which they can rapidly deploy to just about any location in the world given a few hours notice. UNHRD also maintains satellite bases in Dubai, Malaysia, Panama and Ghana giving them even greater access to local communities.

Inter-agency fleet working deep in the mountains of Haiti

Four hurricanes swept through Haiti last year between late August and early September severely impacting the lives of 800,000 people. The community in and around the town of Gonaives was hardest hit.

WFP Shipping rolls out a new real time container tracking system

WFP moves a staggering 55,000 containers annually.  In order to keep track of all these containers they have engaged GT Nexus, Inc. to provide tracking services for a large number of these shipments.  By engaging a consolidated tracking service WFP hopes to assist the country office in reducing landside costs and significantly improving efficiency. We recently sat down with the shipping team to discuss their new system.

WFP’s Juba, South Sudan based drivers recognized for their achievements

On June 26th, 2009 an award ceremony was held at WFP’s Juba, South Sudan office for all Juba-based drivers in recognition of their outstanding work. Dozens of both WFP logistics fleet and administration drivers received certificates for their critically important work. We wrote previously that WFP porters ‘carry the weight of WFP on their shoulders’. WFP drivers literally steer WFP through some of the most treacherous terrain on earth.

WFP working at 5,000 meters in the Land of Thunder Dragon

The Bhutan country team has sent us a write-up and photos of the extremely challenging logistics situation they face. Country Director Leo van der Velden has provided us with a first person account of WFP logistics operations in Bhutan:

Sandwiched between China to the North and India to the South, Bhutan is a small country with a population of about 670,000 (2008). By virtue of its topography, Bhutan is confronted with constraints of land-lockedness and difficult terrain as well as demographic constraints of a small and scattered population.

WFP distributes food along Nicaragua's remote Rio Coco by wooden boat

The Rio Coco lies along the northern border of Nicaragua and the Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte (RAAN). The area was devastated in late 2007 when Hurricane Felix ripped through the region. Since that time WFP has distributed food to families living along the river.