Using Transportation Visibility in COVID-19 Response Efforts: How RJW Logistics Group has Partnered with project44 to Support FEMA

  RJW p44 FEMA 02

With cases of COVID-19 growing across the world, governments, non-profits, healthcare workers, and community organizations are working non-stop to prevent the spread of the virus and help those who are affected. 

As U.S. hospitals become overwhelmed with the rapidly increasing number of patients, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is building alternate care facilities throughout the U.S.

Time Sensitive Shipments for Alternative Care Facilities 

FEMA is working with states around the country to find space for temporary hospitals, order equipment, and have everything delivered on time for the influx in patients. For example, the alternate care facility in Chicago — built in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — is planned to house 3,000 beds for patients. 

With the pandemic spreading rapidly, they must move quickly. This includes the shipment of equipment and supplies. 

Logistics is incredibility important in disaster response. In a recent interview on the project44 blog, Dr. Nezih Altay explained, There is a common agreement among academics or researchers of humanitarian logistics that logistics is about 80% of response efforts.” 

When time is critical, making sure logistics are managed correctly and efficiently is essential. To handle the logistics and transportation of suppliers to some of their temporary hospitals, FEMA has partnered with RJW Logistics Group. As a third-party logistics provider that specializes in retail logistics and transportation, RJW was prepared to immediately help FEMA

Gaining Real-Time Visibility When It’s Most Important 

Because FEMA is working as fast as they can, it was critical that they had real-time tracking into the shipments of equipment and supplies. A delayed shipment can impact the temporary hospital and their ability to care for patients. 

This pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty in our communities, and we wanted to be able to give back in as many ways as possible. Real-time visibility is a requirement for the FEMA loads we carried with construction materials for a vital COVID-19 relief center at McCormick Place in Chicago,” said Ryan Pikus, CIO of RJW Logistics Group. It also helped us to adhere to tight construction deadlines as the pandemic grew more and more serious.” 

To gain the real-time tracking FEMA needs, RJW reached out to project44. Just over an hour after reaching out, RJW was actively tracking shipments from a leading multinational retailer to FEMA’s temporary hospital at McCormick Place in Chicago. 

To get RJW up and running quickly, project44 onboarded the necessary carriers to the project44 network using the DriveView™ mobile application, provided RJW with access to the Visibility Operations Center, and trained the team on how to track shipments and monitor predictive ETAs. 

Using the Visibility Operations Center™, the RJW team is able to monitor shipments and provide FEMA with access to the latest updates, allowing everyone to make decisions with the same real-time data. 

We have high expectations of our partners, and project44 has delivered in the past for me. Their freight visibility platform provided the capabilities we needed to help our local community prepare for the pandemic,” said Pikus. Plus, they were able to turn this around in a very tight window (a few hours).” 

Coming Together to Support Our Communities 

While it’s essential that all hospitals receive the equipment and supplies they need, especially during these unprecedented times, it’s a piece of the entire response and prevention efforts. There are healthcare workers, non-profits, and government agencies working relentlessly to respond to this crisis. And there are organizations, drivers, and essential employees that have kept working to keep society moving. 

We would like to thank everyone who is responding to the pandemic, including the drivers who are doing everything they can to make sure response efforts, as well as communities, have what they need to make it through these challenging times. 

To offer our support, project44 is providing free tracking for organizations — including non-profits, NGOs, government agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, and grocers — to help them support coronavirus relief and prevention efforts. This includes over the road tracking in North America, truckload tracking in Europe, and ocean tracking for inbound freight to North America. 

Photo Source: Crain’s Chicago Business

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