4.1 Logistics rapid assessment

Logistics must form a critical part of the initial assessment. The programme element of the assessment considers the humanitarian needs and defines the most appropriate response strategy. The logistics element of the assessment helps to determine how that strategy can be delivered operationally. See Annex 15.3 for the UN Logistics Cluster Logistics Capacity Assessment format. The logistics assessment should include the following

Local transport infrastructure capacity

  • Internal transport network: check all available transport infrastructures such as road, air, rail and waterways.
  • Road: check category and state of roads, distance, bottlenecks, security, payload capacity (bridges), transport market and transport rates, and connection with international transport.
  • Overland entry points: check location, customs procedures, bottlenecks and delays, security, freight forwarder and rates, and working hours.
  • Air: check airfield locations and specificities (GPS coordinates, length and surface of the airstrip, type of aircraft that can operate), scheduled and chartered flight options, cost, regulation and clearance procedure for chartered flights, and security and safety.
  • Waterway (costal and river): check ports (location, capacity, handling rate), types of vessels that can operate and their carrying capacity with seasonal variation, procedure for contracting transport, availability of vessels, identification of potential bottlenecks, and security.
  • Rail: check rail network and condition, traffic frequency and transport capacity, procedure to use rail transport, cost, and connection with international rail network.

Storage capacity

  • Determine your potential warehousing needs (surface, volume, facilities, cold chain).
  • Assess availability and identify storage facilities (cost, surface, volume, conditions, access).

Local availability of supplies

  • Determine availability and location of sources of supplies (reliability, quality, capacity, delivery, cost).
  • Identify private and public resources (donations, contributions, etc.).

Factors that may restrict or help relief efforts

National authorities may restrict, ban or help any aspect of the logistics operations.

  • Geography and remoteness of the area, climatic conditions.
  • Safety and security.
  • Poor infrastructure and lack of logistics resources available at the site.

Social, environmental and cultural features of the affected population and region

  • Program staff should take this information into account when making decisions about the type of supplies needed, how they can be distributed and how they are to be used or consumed. Logisticians will ensure timely delivery.
  • Sector specialists should identify the population’s dietary habits (types of food not consumed for religious or traditional reasons), and any relevant info that can determine what assistance to offer and what to avoid.
  • Logisticians should prioritise local and regional producers before asking for food assistance or negotiating the acquisition of food in other regions.
  • Sector specialists, with help from logisticians, should identify gender roles and norms, family structures, and roles relating to age.
  • Sector specialists, with help from logisticians, should identify the most common types of housing and construction.
  • The programme team should identify ethnic or cultural minorities and their specific needs.

The programme team should identify  community organisations.