Freight, logistics and road transport organisations in Europe and the US have been raising money and offering their services to support and provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine

By Will Waters

Several freight, logistics and road transport organisations in Europe and the US have been raising money and offering their services to support and provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, following the country’s invasion by Russia.

International road transport union IRU highlighted that along with offering their trucks, buses and coaches and to help transport refugees and essential goods, “the people of the road transport sector are also driving many spontaneous initiatives to raise funds to help people affected by the crisis in Ukraine”.

Examples include a major initiative in the US that has raised more than US$350,000 in the first three days, in which several leading transport companies have come together as the Trucking & Logistics Professionals for Ukraine (https://www.tlpu.net/). The website highlights the US donations to the relief effort and encourages professionals in the US industry to donate.

European efforts

And several freight and logistics organisations in Europe have also been attempting to support and provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Slovakia’s road haulage association, ČESMAD Slovakia, announced at the end of last month that it had been organising the transport of humanitarian aid from Slovakia to Ukraine, at the request of the Ukrainian Embassy in Slovakia and in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

“On the basis of coordination between the member transport companies, free vehicles and approached drivers were allocated, who, aware of the seriousness of the situation, willingly boarded the trucks on request at night and set out for transport,” said Pavol Piešťanský, President of ČESMAD Slovakia. “ČESMAD Slovakia also decided that the association will immediately release and provide €10,000 euros to help Ukraine to help our neighbours, who are facing the consequences of an unprecedented war conflict and humanitarian crisis.”

Czech Haulage Association ČESMAD Bohemia has also organised a similar arrangement, noting that “Czech road hauliers joined the wave of solidarity with the war in Ukraine without hesitation”.

Josef Melzer, President of the Association, said: “We are very pleased that the Czech carriers immediately responded and offered free capacity for trucks, buses, as well as special equipment for the transport of construction machinery or military equipment to help Ukraine. Dozens of members immediately signed up to our call, and many companies are already helping individually.”

Secretary General Vojtěch Hromíř said the Association was also providing information on border conditions, vehicle check-in and the necessary formal procedures, adding: “The members of the Association offered their vehicles with crews and we make them available to the crisis staff of the Ministry of Transport. We can also be contacted by other organisations providing assistance, whether they need to transport material or people. We hope that the armed part of the conflict will end as soon as possible, and we are ready to help in overcoming its tragic consequences.”

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the professional drivers’ organisation Transporteffect has already collected over €160,000, more than 30 times its initial target. The association is planning to go to Ukraine to help stranded drivers whose credit and debit cards are not working.

The IRU highlighted that the road transport industry is also directly supporting local humanitarian organisations in the area. Among those are UNICEFUNHCRthe World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, local Red Cross branches and Save the Children.

And it noted that logistics giant Amazon has already donated large amounts and is waiving processing fees for donations made through its websites.

And as reported here in Forwarder, German rail and logistics giant Deutsche Bahn has set up a logistics network using road and rail to transport aid supplies from Germany into Ukraine. It said the network would will bring thousands of tonnes of food, drinking water and sanitary products directly into the country by truck and freight train.

Logistics teams from its DB Cargo, DB Schenker and DB Transa Spedition subsidiaries “are working together to collect items donated in Germany by truck, pack them into containers and transport them across the border to Ukraine by freight train on DB Cargo’s European rail network. This is made possible thanks to a collaboration between DB Cargo’s Polish subsidiary and the Ukrainian railway, as well as DB Schenker’s local teams in Poland.”