This is part of a series of articles exploring the role the World Economic Forum has played in supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ahead of our Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York. Goal 3 is good health and well-being.

The Logistics Emergency Team facilitates support from global logistic companies during the humanitarian response to large-scale natural disasters.

The challenge

When natural disaster strikes, governments and humanitarian agencies rush to provide support, but quickly reach the limit of their capacity.

Companies can provide vital support through financial aid, goods and services. However, without proper coordination, donations can add confusion and fail to meet the actual needs.

The strategy

The Logistics Emergency Team (LET) is the first partnership of its kind and formalizes cooperation between the private and public sector – reflecting the Forum’s central philosophy.

First facilitated by the Forum in 2005, the LET comprises four of the largest global logistics and transportation companies – Agility, DP World, Maersk and UPS – who work together to support the United Nations Logistics Cluster. The LET unites the capacity and resources of the logistics industry with the expertise and experience of the humanitarian community to provide more effective and efficient disaster relief.

LET companies supply pro bono assets and services and deploy logistics experts to join the Logistics Cluster's staff for the disaster response operations.

The team also helps improve emergency preparedness by conducting Logistics Capacity Assessments for high-risk countries.


The LET has provided logistics support during 12 emergency responses and seven preparedness projects since 2007. Most recently, the team responded to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in October 2016 with warehouse space and staff, and air and sea freight services.

To date, over 190 LET company employees working in disaster-prone countries have been trained on humanitarian logistics, contingency operations and natural disaster emergency response, to better enable them to support future responses.

To build on its success, the LET is supporting a new World Economic Forum initiative, the Community for Effective Humanitarian Response, which brings together humanitarian organizations and other private sector companies to bridge other gaps in the humanitarian system.