Smart and swift supply chain actions for urgent and cold chain deliveries to Haiti

by | Mar 22, 2023

In 2022, PFSCM offered Haiti special support, first when the country urgently needed Dried Blood Spot test kits and later when escalating social unrest threatened to disrupt the fragile health supply chain.

Around mid-2022, PFSCM responded swiftly to ensure a large and critical order of Dried Blood Spot test kits was delivered to the country safely and securely. DBS test kits are typically used for early infant diagnosis of HIV and increase access to diagnostic testing for patients that cannot reach a clinical setting.

PFSCM Logistics Specialist Monica Amian says PFSCM carefully planned the order and shipping process to ensure the DBS kits could be delivered as fast as possible without putting extra pressure on the local receiving capacity.

She explains that PFSCM split the order and delivered the goods by air, ensuring an exceptional turnaround of less than a month. “By splitting the order into two shipments, we ensured that the principal recipient did not have to wait for all the goods to be ready to be delivered in one go. This method of staggered delivery is a winning recipe to guarantee that urgent orders reach recipients fast without overwhelming their capacity to receive goods in-country.”

Further, around September 2022, when tensions and social unrest peaked in Haiti, PFSCM worked closely with the PR to safeguard the delivery of cold chain health products to the country.

Amain explains that PFSCM paid particular attention to temperature-sensitive products and collaborated with its 3PL partners and their local agents to ensure that cold chain goods were precleared and that customs clearance would only happen once the goods were securely in a temperature-controlled warehouse.

“Some airports in Haiti have limited to no temperature-controlled storage, and the unrest in the country put the logistics infrastructure under even more pressure. To overcome this challenge, we arrange preclearance and move cold chain health products directly from the airports to temperature-controlled storage once the aircraft touches down. Customs clearance only occurs once the goods are in the appropriate storage facility. This ensures product integrity is maintained.”

Amain adds that while the unrest in Haiti has since subdued, PFSCM keeps communicating proactively to stay abreast of developments and maintains a high level of involvement in cold chain shipment. “We have increased the frequency and intensity of our meetings, and we share pertinent supply chain data with the recipient, helping them plan further in advance for the receipt of goods. These simple actions have become critical and nonnegotiable to manage fragile and fast-changing health supply chains better.”