Response Updates

Relief Delivered: Flexport.org Helps Convoy Send Aid to Ukraine

Ukraine Reported by Convoy of Hope

Packages go through quite a journey in the mailing process — far more than what tracking details reveal. From manufacturer, to truck, to port, and more, there are a host of steps in the journey of a package. 

Shipments of humanitarian aid from Convoy of Hope often have additional steps and challenges that have to be considered. That’s why partnerships like Flexport.org are invaluable to Convoy and help us bring relief to those in need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Flexport.org has helped Convoy with several disaster responses — everything from the early 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria to crises in South Sudan, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The largest collaboration to date has been the humanitarian aid Flexport has helped Convoy send to Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Since October 2023, Flexport.org has donated more than $1 million in funding to support the shipment of nearly 100 containers of emergency supplies, hygiene kits, and more to the people affected by the now two-year-long war.

Shipping containers to conflict zones comes with its own challenges. Fortunately, partners like Flexport help Convoy overcome those obstacles.

First Steps

Shipping containers of relief supplies from Convoy’s global headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, to Ukraine usually takes 40 to 45 days. First, Convoy sources relief supplies through donations and partnerships. Convoy’s partnership with Flexport.org is unique because Flexport.org provides the funds for the shipping process of the supplies. Once approved, Flexport.org arranges the shipment.

Flexport.org secures space on a ship, which can take 24 to 48 hours. They also coordinate with the warehouse and trucking service for pickup and loading. Convoy works with Flexport.org’s partner trucker to load the containers at Convoy’s World Distribution Center. Once loading is complete and the container is sealed, the trucker takes it to the port. 

Meanwhile, Convoy’s teams prepare the various documents needed, such as a commercial invoice and Letter of Donation. Once all the information is reviewed and complies with regulations and the container is accepted, it moves on to the next phase as the ship starts its journey.

In-Transit

After departure and while the vessel is in transit, the Flexport team sends a message to their partner in the region, Convoy’s partner in the region, and Convoy of Hope with all the shipping documents and schedule information. This way, when the container arrives, everyone is ready to clear customs. For a shipment to Ukraine, the Flexport.org team in Europe handles operations on arrival. 

Arrival & Delivery

The clock starts ticking as soon as the container arrives at the port. 

Once the container arrives at the port in Hamburg, Germany, it is moved to Austria via railway. Flexport’s partner loads the container’s goods into trucks and moves the supplies to Ukraine across multiple borders. The relief is then delivered to Convoy’s partner in Ukraine, who helps get the supplies into the hands of those in need. 

So far, Flexport has helped Convoy deliver more than 3.4 million pounds of relief supplies to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans in need. 

Challenges

Getting much needed relief supplies into countries in crisis like Ukraine requires adaptability. War means the risk of ever-changing custom regulations, shifting areas where aid can be safely delivered, working in accordance with U.S. and EU compliance regulations, and the additional need to transport supplies through other European countries due to the lack of a functioning ocean container port in Ukraine. In emergency situations, there may also be a shortage of trucking or air freight capacity.

When working with humanitarian aid in general, there is little time between an emergency and when the aid is desperately needed. Planning ahead is not always possible. This makes communication critical. If one factor changes, it affects everything else along the way. 

Social

Disasters bring barriers to many basic needs, including access to #food. Everyday things are unexpectedly gone — food becomes a critical concern. This is why organizations like ours exist: to respond to disasters with tangible aid and compassion. 🥣👉 http://h.ope.is/3Q4pyvK