Support for responders battling California wildfires

Published:  14 August, 2018

A US-based logistics company has been providing logistics management and transportation of supplies and equipment needed by first responders battling the devastating wildfires in California.

In 2018, Crowley Logistics began executing a $2.3 billion US Dollar Defense Freight Transportation Services contract that calls for the company to move cargo from thousands of suppliers through 41 major depots around the US. Now, under terms of that contract, Crowley is aiding state and federal agencies responding to the Mendocino Complex wildfires by trucking in supplies – such as hoses, boots, MREs (meals ready to eat), personal protective equipment (PPE), batteries, water canteens and fuses – all critical to the response.  

‘Our purpose statement as a company is ‘enriching lives through innovative solutions done right. We understand how crucial it is to the first responders, that they have the equipment and supplies they need daily to battle these fires,’ said Frank Larkin, senior vice president and general manager, logistics and commercial services. ‘Our local team is working tirelessly with our regional trucking partners to ensure that these critical shipments are a top priority and are moved with the greatest velocity possible in keeping with our purpose.’

Operating 24/7 out of Tracy, California, Crowley’s logistics team has completed nearly 100 full-trailer-load (FTL) deliveries since late May and anticipates that 180 FTLs will be transported to hot zones by the end of September. The team ensures the supplies are picked up at the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) distribution centre in San Joaquin and delivered by truck to multiple drop-off locations under the US Forest Service’s nationwide National Interagency Support Cache system. Crowley arranges for truck transport and manages the routing and timing of trucks to ensure the most efficient supply chain services.

‘We’re living it, and we can smell the fire every day,’ said Crowley’s Anthony Marinaro, field service manager. ‘We understand the importance of every load. Every shipment we get out could essentially save someone’s life.’

‘This is a 24/7, around-the-clock mission to ensure DLA receives the logistics services it needs,’ continued Marinaro. ‘As a team based in California, you never know who could be impacted next – it may be your own house or family. That definitely makes this a personal mission for us.’

Crowley has a long history of supporting the US government’s disaster and humanitarian response efforts. Throughout the years, the company has provided varied services including scheduled and rapid response logistics solutions for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2015 Ebola crisis in Africa, and most recently hurricane response efforts in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

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