FedEx, UPS and DHL are scrambling to help provide aid to Haiti following Tuesday's 7.0-magnitute earthquake, eyefortransport reported in its daily newsletter.
FedEx plans to provide transportation services for the American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International, Direct Relief International and Water Missions as soon as conditions allow.
DHL aircraft are transporting the first wave of essential supplies from Panama to Haiti.
UPS has donated $1 million, split equally between cash and services, to the relief effort. The funds will be divided between The American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF and other organizations that assist with long-term relief activities.
UPS provided logistics support in Haiti two years ago when the island nation was hit by hurricanes and floods. UPS Americas Region Health and Safety manager John Vera, who was sent to the region in 2008, said that crisis response in Haiti is extraordinarily difficult because the country has little modern infrastructure.
FedEx points out that anyone wanting to support the relief effort would be advised to donate money to a legitimate charitable organization, since logistics within Haiti prevents FedEx from sending products and aid collected by individuals or local organizations.
Aid agencies are feverishly working to deliver emergency supplies to Haiti, and the first shipment of UNICEF supplies was due to arrive yesterday, with more following today.
According to UNICEF, basic services and infrastructure in Haiti were already close to collapse even before quake struck.
News reports indicate that the port is badly damaged, with cranes and piers knocked out of service, and the only direct way into Port-au-Prince is by air. While the airport has power and lights, its air traffic control systems did not appear to be operating yesterday.
Aid shipments could also be transported to the Dominican Republic and trucked across the border.
FedEx has suspended its operations into and out of Haiti, and all customers' shipments are being held in Miami until normal operations can be resumed.
Dorothy Cox of The Trucker staff may be reached to comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.