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UPS Helps Japan Recovery, Pledges $1 Million in Logistics Support

Joe Ruiz with The UPS Foundation

For the last four days, The UPS Foundation’s Joe Ruiz has been on the phone. His job is to figure out how UPS can best leverage its transportation network, humanitarian logistics teams and funds to help the victims of Friday’s tsunami and earthquake in Japan.

Joe has been working with UPSers in Japan to assess whether the roads are good enough to reach the most damaged areas of the country. He’s been talking to colleagues at UPS Airlines to determine whether flights can reliably go in and out of Narita Airport outside Tokyo. Joe also has been coordinating with UPS’s relief partners around the world to determine if they need UPS resources, such as airlift, staff and facilities.

Today, The UPS Foundation pledged $1 million dollars in in-kind and financial support to the relief efforts in Japan.

On stand-by are UPS managers who are logisticians trained in disaster response. Transportation experts also are readying for customer requests seeking to ship goods into Japan.

Meanwhile, scenes of the devastation flashed across the TV screen. “You can never forget that the work we do saves lives,” reflected Joe, who is The UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief Program Manager.

Joe has been on the front end of dozens of natural disasters in recent years:  The China earthquake; floods in Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines and Honduras; Hurricane Katrina; a cyclone in Myanmar,  the tsunami in American Samoa, and most recently, the Haiti earthquake.

The Japan situation is different than Haiti because many of UPS’s relief partners such as CARE and the U.N. World Food Programme do not have operations on the ground. Countries like Japan typically have to ask for help, whereas Haiti already had those relief agencies on the ground and operating and could immediately activate their facilities. Two of UPS’s partners do however have operations in Japan: the Red Cross and The Salvation Army, Ruiz added. He’s in touch with them right now to determine how to meet their needs.

What Japan does share with other natural disaster sites is the challenge of logistics. Damaged roads, rail and airports adjacent to the most hard-hit areas hamper rescuers ability to deliver supplies rapidly and efficiently.

“Our hearts go out to all of the victims of this devastating earthquake and tsunami,” said Joe.

 You can be sure he’s on the phone searching for ways to help.

Are you looking to help? The best way is to contribute cash directly to relief agencies.  Visit the Red Cross, The Salvation Army or Aid Matrix , which is an online system that matches product donations with relief agency needs.

If you are a UPS customer and have questions about your Japan shipment, please contact 1-800-782-7892.

Category: Caring for Communities, Global Impact, Logistics
Tags: , , , , , ,

    Comments [9]

  1. I love it when we’re able to pull all of our resources
    together so quickly for a cause like this.

    Now, that’s Logistics at its Finest!

  2. i love UPS like a company and i respect all the mans and
    womens works in UPS THANKS FOR YOUR HELP TO

  3. Text “QUAKE” to 80888 to donate $10 to Salvation Army, who is also assisting. Not glamorous but if we all do it, it ADDs UP

  4. Lynette, this is another great example of how UPS’
    commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is
    “honored” and implemented and continuously
    monitored and improved every day. Continuous
    improvement of programs and logistics and
    transportation of humanitarian goods and shipments is
    what UPS does.
    Because it is such it an impressive effort, I have
    blogged about it proudly. See, for example,
    What the UPS Foundation does in terms of its grants
    and awards is almost superfluous by contrast — even
    when considering its annual global disbursements of
    roughly $50 million or more.
    I really respect the work that Joe Ruiz has done for a
    long time … and what he continues to do.
    And, of course, I respect your work, Lynnette, and the
    work of the UPS Foundation.

  5. As a retired corporate UPSer I was wondering if UPS is
    moving items that Americans would like to donate to the
    Japan disaster. I was contacted by someone who had a lot
    of promotional items (water bottles, etc.) that he would
    like to send to Japan. If UPS has organized any project
    to receive and ship donated items to Japan, please let me


  6. Thanks for all the great comments. I’m proud of UPS too!
    Regarding John’s request, I thought I’d answer for all of
    you in case you have goods to donate. We strongly
    recommend cash as a way to support relief efforts
    because oftentimes its cheaper and quicker to buy the
    supplies locally rather than ship them from around the
    world..But if you or someone you know has goods to
    donate, go to http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org. It’s a UPS
    partner that matches goods with non-profits online. The
    non-profits choose to accept the goods and make
    arrangements to ship.

  7. I hope the lady who I was speaking with 3 hours ago over
    the phone, would be able to ship out 36 boxes of clean
    bottled water from Canada to Japan. I hope that UPS
    would also let her ship it out for free. I had to refer her to
    freight since the boxes are on a palette.

    • Hi Richard:

      The UPS Foundation team recommends that you post your donation on the Aidmatrix site http://www.aidmatrix.org/haiti.htm. At the site, your donation will be visible to hundreds of relief agencies helping with disasters. UPS does not transport individual donations. Our support is dedicated to our humanitarian relief partners, who prioritize their needs.

      Debbie Curtis-Magley
      UPS Public Relations

  8. This inrfomtaion is off the hizool!

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