2.1 Freight: Supply Chain Management

Global Hand recommends The Sphere Project’s Minimum Standards (Sphere), where applicable to logistics and transportation.

The following is designed to be read in light of Principles, and Cross-referential Issues.

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2.1. Supply Chain Management

An extract from the introduction to the Sphere the Food Aid Management & Supply Chain Management section:

“The goal of food aid management is to deliver food to those people who need it most. Generally speaking, this involves delivering the right goods, to the right location, in the right condition, at the right time and for the right price, with minimal handling loss.

The weight and volume of food aid required to sustain a large population severely affected by disaster may amount to thousands of tonnes. The physical movement of food commodities to points of distribution may involve an extensive network of purchasers, forwarding agents, transporters and receivers, and multiple handling and transfers from one mode of transport to another. These networks, or supply chains, are put together using a series of contracts and agreements, which define roles and responsibilities, and establish liabilities and rights to compensation, among the contracting parties. All of this requires proper and transparent procedures that contribute towards establishing accountability.

Setting up and managing the supply chain entails cooperation among donors, the recipient government, humanitarian actors, local authorities, various service providers and local community organisations engaged in the food aid programme. Each party will have specific roles and responsibilities as a link, or series of links, in the supply chain. As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, all parties involved in food aid logistics share responsibility for maintaining the flow of sufficient commodities to meet distribution targets and schedules."

2.1.1. Supply Chain Management Standard

“Food aid resources (commodities and support funds) are well managed, using transparent and responsive systems.” Food aid management standard 2: supply chain management, page 165, Sphere Handbook 2004 Revised Edition

Key indicators include:

  • “An assessment is made of local supply chain management (SCM) capabilities and logistics infrastructure and a co-ordinated, efficient SCM system is established, using local capacity where this is feasible.”
  • “The assessment considers the availability of locally sourced food commodities.”
  • “The award of contracts for SCM services is transparent, fair and open.”
  • “Appropriate inventory accounting, reporting and financial systems are in place to ensure accountability at all levels of the SCM system.”
  • “Care is taken to minimise losses, including through theft, and all losses are accounted for.”
  • “The food pipeline is monitored and maintained in such a way that any interruption to distribution is avoided.”

See the Sphere Project for further detail.


Global issues

Disasters and humanitarian affairs ; Transportation and logistics