Media Fact Sheet


What is ALAN?

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) supports disaster recovery by engaging industry to address the unmet needs of relief organizations, communities, and people.

Founded in 2008, ALAN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that harnesses the know-how and resources of the supply chain industry to bring relief to people most affected by disasters. We assist relief organizations and emergency agencies responding to disasters with support including transport services, staging areas, storage, expert advice and other vital resources.


What is the rationale?

Storms, earthquakes, epidemics and other disasters disrupt the flow of goods and services that people depend on: clean drinking water, food, shelter, medical supplies, communications, and transportation. A rapid and coordinated effort to reestablish a reliable supply chain helps prevent continued suffering and long-term economic damage for those in the grip of disasters.

The logistics industry offers expertise, goods, services, and networks that can be mobilized to meet those needs. Moreover, supply-chain businesses want to help those affected by disasters. ALAN engages those businesses to work cooperatively with humanitarian aid organizations and government to meet relief needs and to support their common interests.


Why is it necessary?

In disaster relief operations, logistics is often the biggest hurdle. As much as 80 percent of disaster relief expenditures go toward transporting, warehousing, and distributing goods and services to affected communities.[1]

Food and supplies do little good if they can’t get to those who need them most. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, shopping center parking lots were crowded with unneeded donated clothing, while shipping and handling capacity for essential items was scarce. As a result, relief agencies found it much harder to operate, and many donated items never reached those most affected by the storm.

ALAN’s strategy is to target assistance to specific calls for support. When a request for transportation, warehousing, or other logistical support is received, we contact our network of supply-chain providers to identify a donor for that particular need. In addition, we work year-round to identify sources of logistics capacity before disasters strike, so that we are poised to react quickly to calls for support.


How does ALAN work?

Building Relationships  – ALAN’s disaster relief work is built on strong relationships among supply-chain businesses, relief organizations, and government. Members of our network include:

  • AFFI – American Frozen Food Institute
  • APICS – The Association for Operations Management
  • AST&L – American Society of Transportation and Logistics
  • ATA – American Trucking Associations
  • CSCMP – Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
  • Feeding America – formerly Second Harvest
  • FMI- Food Marketing Institute
  • FSA – Food Shippers of America
  • GCCA – Global Cold Chain Alliance
  • Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics
  • GMA- Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • IARW – International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses
  • IRTA – International Refrigerated Transportation Association
  • IWLA – International Warehouse Logistics Association
  • LATC – Los Angeles Transportation Club
  • MHEDA- Material Handling Equipment Distributors of America
  • MHIA -The Material Handling Institute of America
  • NASSTRAC – National Shipper’s Strategic Transportation Council
  • SSCF – Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation
  • SWA – Southeastern Warehouse Association
  • WERC – Warehousing Education and Research Council
  • WFLO – World Food Logistics Organization
  • WIT – Women in Trucking

Coordinating effort through a state-of-the-art web portal – Based on National Donations Management Network (NDMN) technology provided by Aidmatrix, ALAN’s web portal matches assistance with specifically stated needs. It allows relief agencies to post needs and an on-the-ground contact person. Supply-chain companies can then browse the needs list and determine where they can help.

Here are some examples of how ALAN works:

  • During Superstorm Sandy, ALAN identified resources for a variety of requests, including:

    -a donated van and driver for transportation of light medical equipment to New York City
    -refrigerated and dry van transportation
    -forklifts and pallet jacks for relief agencies handling donated goods
    -facilities for sorting and distributing relief supplies

  • ALAN maintains an open source database of services such as power restoration and road closures which impact supply chain operations. This list was cited and shared by FEMA’s private-sector office during Superstorm Sandy.
  • ALAN is supporting catastrophic planning in the National Capital Region by identifying and convening industry experts to explore supply chain vulnerabilities and sources of resilience.

ALAN provides a smart solution to disaster relief.


  • ALAN enables supply-chain providers to support disaster relief in ways that highlight their strengths and engage their business interests.
  • We provide logistical expertise and services to humanitarian and relief organizations, enabling them to focus on what they do best.
  • We help save money and eliminate duplication of effort and waste by matching expressed needs with potential providers.
  • We’ve created a network that can be used as a model in countries around the globe.
  • By bringing humanitarian, commercial, and military logistics providers together during disasters, ALAN helps them learn from each other. Stakeholders enhance their capacity across the board, whether for disaster relief, economic efficiency, or national security.


ALAN Leadership

President – John T. (“Jock”) Menzies, The Terminal Corporation
Vice President  – Mark Richards, Associated Warehouses Inc. (AWI)
Vice President, Process & Technology – Richard Sharpe, Competitive Insights, LLC
Vice President, Agency Relations – Clifford Otto, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
Secretary/Treasurer – Cheryl Harrity


For more information, please contact: 


Kathy Fulton

Director of Operations
Office: 863-668-4238 / Mobile: 863-559-6188

Patrick Rofe

Director of Development and Corporate Partnerships
Mobile: 360-515-6264


Click here for a downloadable version of this information.




[1] Sabine Friederike Schulz, Disaster Relief Logistics: Benefits of and Impediments to Cooperation between Humanitarian Organizations, (Berne, Switzerland: Haupt, 2009) p. 48. Schulz cites research from Trunick (2005, p. 8)  and van Wassenhove (2006, p. 475) who agree on the 80% figure for logistics expenditures.

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