ALAN is a new network of industry associations created to assist relief agencies by providing logistics resources to support the distribution of humanitarian aid (including goods and services) in the preparation for, and response to, a disaster.

Responding to 2005’s hurricane and tsunami natural disasters, a group of 10 associations formed ALAN to provide supply chain and logistics resources and expertise to aid in, and speed, the response to natural and man-made disasters.

In addition to MHIA, the following associations are the founders of ALAN:

– AFFI (American Frozen Food Institute)

– CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals)

– FMI (Food Marketing Institute)

– GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association)

– IARW (International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses)

– IRTA (International Refrigerated Transportation Association)

– IWLA (International Warehouse and Logistics Association)

– MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association)

– WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council)

The mission of ALAN is to support humanitarian aid agencies access to the resources of thousands of organisations representing food suppliers, refrigerated transportation, trucking, logistics, warehousing, supply chain software, and material handling equipment firms to help these agencies:

– Assist in the ongoing preparation and training of relief agencies volunteers

– Develop supply chain processes needed to effectively respond to disasters

– Supplement their efforts to assist in the collection, routing, and delivery of relief supplies to specific disaster area

According to John Nofsinger, CEO of MHIA: “ALAN was founded by the associations that make the supply chain efficiently operate on a daily basis. When a disaster strikes, we believe that it is our unique responsibility to utilise these same resources and expertise to help ensure that the necessary aid gets where it is needed as quickly as possible.”

Initially, ALAN will focus on one-time crisis situations that occur in the United States, such as hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. In the future, ALAN could serve as a model in expanding this effort for disaster response in other regions of the world.

ALAN is in the process of developing a volunteer base of companies and individuals to aid in their mission. In the event of a disaster, ALAN will work with relief organisations to support their logistics, supply, and transportation needs and mobilise assistance as required.