Following the devastating fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui in early August, our relief logistics team knew it was time to pitch in.
The fires, which began burning on August 8 and devastated the city of Lahaina as well as several other areas, burned more than 6,500 acres across the island. They destroyed buildings, roads and utilities — and created a unique challenge for logistics professionals due to the lack of infrastructure on the ground.
After some initial discovery and meetings with our collaborators the UPS foundation, Good360, LIFT Non-Profit Disaster Logistics and CORE, we decided we were best suited to help coordinate relief shipments before they left the mainland and line up final mile delivery on the island.
Coordinating the First & Last Links in the Relief Freight Supply Chain
On August 22, our General Manager for Humanitarian Logistics Zach Gilstrap deployed to Southern California to assess several staging sites for incoming relief freight.
After vetting four facilities, Zach settled on a warehouse operated by Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) because of the presence of both a forklift and sufficient on-site personnel to handle the influx of freight.
With the staging site set, we began consolidating relief shipments from eight different companies within Good360’s donor network. All told, we helped in the pre-shipment phase by:
- Preparing documentation.
- Physically unloading freight from donors and loading it for UPS air transportation.
- Liaising between donors and the UPS foundation to convey accurate shipping information.
- Contributing advice and expertise throughout the process.
[Pictured left to right: Brenda Cruz, CORE; Zach Gilstrap, Coyote Logistics]
We also played an important role at the conclusion of the relief shipment — we coordinated the final mile delivery of freight from UPS to a Maui County staging facility on September 8.
The shipment we helped coordinate contained 19 pallets consisting of:
- Cover-all protective body suits.
- Shoe covers.
- High-visibility vests.
We are currently coordinating a second shipment with these same collaborators which includes cooling bandanas and towels, safety glasses, and additional high-visibility vests, as well as another shipment of three Tesla power walls to Maui alongside the UPS Foundation, Tesla and LIFT Non-Profit Disaster Logistics.
Motivated to Move the Freight That Matters Most
We’re proud to contribute our effort and resources to a project as important as helping the communities in need on Maui, and we’d like to thank the UPS foundation and all of our dedicated collaborators for helping make this successful effort possible.