Peripatetic Event

Freight Services, Logistics & Collective Action in The Face of Disasters

When disasters strike, it can be hard to acknowledge all the moving parts of an effective relief program. Whether dealing with a flood, storm, or earthquake, catastrophic situations call for collective action – collaboration between multiple organisations to ensure recovery is as efficient and effective as possible.

It’s important to consider the contributions of logistics businesses and freight services during extreme weather events, illuminating the support they provide to humanitarian groups and government organisations. We can better understand the need for collaboration by looking at the logistical challenges of disaster response, and paying reverence to the organisations facilitating the action.

Logistics & Supply Chain Challenges of Disasters

While some locations have stronger infrastructure, disasters come with a host of logistical challenges wherever they might strike. Humanitarian groups can provide invaluable support but become quickly overwhelmed by logistical and supply chain challenges.

Distributing Resources: Communities during disasters experience an intense need for resources often coupled with scarcity. Supply chain specialists, freight service providers, and logistics experts offer expertise in distribution through complex situations, helping to provide affected communities with food, water, and other relief supplies.

Issues of Storage: Freight services can also aid by offering storage space to accommodate the influx of relief supplies and support, which affected areas often lack. When communities experience mass casualties they also need to account for body storage in a hygienic, space-saving system, which is another thing logistics businesses can aid with.

Evacuation of Citizens: Disasters often lead to mass evacuations, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of citizens fleeing the devastated areas. Logistics businesses are largely focused on transporting goods, meaning they can help with the evacuation process, provide freight vehicles, and aid with organising transport links.

General Planning: In less developed, high-risk areas, the biggest issue is often a serious lack of planning. Despite these zones being more vulnerable to disasters, they generally don’t have strong, widely distributed contingency plans in place. Logistics is all about planning, making supply chain businesses the perfect educators for helping to build a disaster preparedness plan.

Networking Between Organisations: Proper disaster response requires cooperation between various agencies and organisations, including government institutions and humanitarian groups. Supply chain and logistics teams often have pre-existing trade links and relationships with these organisations, allowing for the smoother movement of supplies and support.

The logistical challenges of disaster management can’t be understated, so collaboration with qualified parties is an essential part of response and recovery processes.

The Need for Collective Action

The contributions of logistics teams and freight services denote the need for collective action. Whether aid is provided by transport-focused organisations like Evolution Time Critical, body storage solution providers like Nutwell Logistics, or full-scale logistics like Yes Logistics, it’s clear that primarily corporate organisations can do wonders for humanitarian aid.


For 20 years now the team at DHL Group has also been contributing to disaster response initiatives, under the banner GoHelp. They work with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the World Food Programme, cooperating on coordinating and mobilising humanitarian support and supply chains in the event of disasters. Since 2004, GoHelp has built a team of 900+ employees in its Disaster Response Teams (DRTs), along with setting up over 60+ workshops for their “Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD)” project.


The DRTs are essentially three regional teams that cover the Americas, the Middle East/Africa, and Asian Pacific, based in Panama, Dubai, and Singapore respectively. Their responsibilities include unloading air freight liners, offering warehouse space for relief supplies, conducting regular inventory checks, and ensuring smooth deliveries to humanitarian teams.


GARD is focused on providing disaster preparedness plans and guidance for airports in at-risk areas, collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to do so. Airports and their staff can easily become overwhelmed by surges in passengers, relief crews, and cargo arrivals, so GARD works with them to ensure they’re equipped to deal with these outcomes.

Introducing Mayyada Ansari

We’re so pleased to host Mayyada Ansari, Group Head of GoHelp, at this year’s Disasters Expo Europe for a Keynote Speech digging into the organisation’s methodologies and Collective Action in general. She’s been working with DHL Group for over a decade, leading GoHelp’s partnership with the United Nations since January 2023. At Disasters Expo Europe, she’ll continue to facilitate dialogue, proactive management strategies, and climate adaptability, with the ultimate mission of expanding GoHelp''s European portfolio.

Register for your complimentary ticket to Disasters Expo Europe to guarantee your chance to see Mayyada Ansari’s seminar alongside a stunning line-up of speakers, browse business exhibitions by other disaster-related logistics businesses, and network with thousands of like-minded professionals.

Find Disasters Expo Europe listed on PreventionWeb


{mentions - Evolution Time Critical | Nutwell Logistics | Yes Logistics -???????????? | World Food Programme | UNDP | DHL }