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Transport is the link in the logistics chain that makes it possible for emergency humanitarian assistance to reach its destination. When designing an emergency supply transport strategy, it is not enough to consider in the abstract the best means of transport or the resources needed to mobilize supplies from A to B. Alternative means, methods, and routes should be considered as a matter of course. The challenge does not lie in eventually getting the supplies to their destination, regardless of when they may be needed—but in making sure that they arrive safely and on time. The movement of supplies within the country or area of operations is only one part of the process. The arrival of goods from abroad—donated by the international community, or acquired by a disaster relief organization—also imposes its own logistical challenges. Getting emergency supplies from their point of origin to their final destination involves the combined use of different means of transport over air, land, or water. Types of Transport and Their Characteristics The various means of transport have advantages and disadvantages from the point of view of operational needs, ranging from their cost to their capacity and speed (see Table 10.1). When deciding which means of transport to use, we must think of two main issues: the needs on the ground, and feasible forms of transport. The needs — How urgently are the supplies needed? What type of supplies are being shipped? How large and heavy is the shipment going to be? What is the destination? What distances must be traversed? Feasible forms of transport — What means of transport are avail-29 This chapter has benefited from the contributions of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and Gerard Góme

Year: 2010
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