|CARE Food Manual (CARE , 1998, 355 p.)|
|Chapter 2 - Assessments Cost and Logistics|
|I. Logistics Assessment|
|B. In-Country Transport|
When roads are in reasonably good repair, trucks are the most flexible way to move food. Trucks will play a role at some point in the logistics operation, either as long-haul (e.g., between ports and inland hubs), short-haul (e.g., from hubs to distribution sites), or for local handling (e.g., from port to warehouse, airport or railway station).
CARE or its counterpart should first try to use government or commercial trucking fleets where available and feasible. There are a number of commercial transportation options:
· Common Carriers: In many countries, a mix of large to medium sized trucking companies, either private or state-owned, and single truck owner-operators, are available for transport.
· Contract Carriers: Trucks that serve a particular company, such as logging companies, mining companies, or agro-businesses, are often only occupied in one direction, i.e., from the mine to the port, and can be contracted to transport food on the back-haul portion of their trips. Contract carriers often have lower rates, as the trucks have to return anyway, although they may not be willing to go where needed by CARE, unless it is close to their base of operations.
· Private Carriers: Road transporters that only haul for a specific purpose and company. CARE fleets would be classed in this category, as would the fleets of other NGOs and the local military. These fleets are normally not in the business of carrying cargo for others, but could be used in emergencies.
a. Building a Trucking Capacity
Only in emergencies or other unique circumstances should CARE develop its own trucking capacity. The purchase of trucks is a very costly capital expense that imposes many unanticipated burdens. Management is time-consuming and resource-intensive, and may distract staff from fulfilling programmatic objectives.
Management responsibilities include:
· Obtaining required government permits and licenses
· Maintenance facilities and experienced mechanics
· Driver selection and discipline
· Eventual disposition of the trucks
· Fuel supply
· Spare parts.
CARE should only consider establishing its own trucking fleet if:
· There is no reliable commercial trucking in-country
· There is no government fleet available for use.
An interval of six to nine months is typical between the time the decision is made to order trucks to the time they can be used for food deliveries. Although in some cases emergency funding can be quickly mobilized to speed up the procurement process. However, because of the uncertain nature of most donor approval and capital purchasing procedures, expedited procurement of vehicles should not be expected.
b. Types of Trucks
If CARE decides to lease or purchase trucks, project managers must take into consideration: the size of trucks, condition of the roads, required food mix, the storage capacity of the receiving warehouses, and ruggedness of the terrain.
Long-haul transport: It is more economical to move cargo over great distances in trucks with a gross carrying capacity of 35 MT. An additional trailer with a gross capacity of 12 MT can be pulled behind the truck.
Short-haul transport: Short-haul trucks carry approximately 8-10 MT of cargo and are generally used to transport food from the main warehouse to site-level centers. Because many food programs operate in remote rural areas, four-wheel drive is essential.