|The humble Peugot 106|
thanks to Clarissa Draper for the photo.
2. Priority & Function Sure those little fluffy toys pack out nicely and are easy to fit into almost any gap but the first dirty nappy (dookie filled diaper) will inform you that you should have packed the slightly less flexible pack of Pampers. It is also worth considering operational issues and interdependent function; if you pack the travel cot – place the mattress in the must pack pile.
3. Build your load ahead of time - In the RAF we called these chalks, because you would draw a chalk square on the ground the size of your load bed and see how much you could fit in it. It saves paying truck drivers waiting time for excessive rearranging of loads. If you have the load in your head it will take far less tweaks to make it fit around that unexpected wheel arch. (I always used to reduce my chalk by 5% of the expected load bed to make room for the truckers sleeping mat and tea set in Niger just to make sure I never went short of space.). In loading children get acquainted to the little areas within a folded pushchair (stroller) that you can stuff “Mr Squiggles”or “Barney”.
All too often in disaster relief and development settings you don’t get the ideal vehicle and you do have to make do and shuttle or even if you have to split loads across multiple vehicles., give a thought to whether it makes more sense to have a little of everything or whether you transport category by category. For instance in an NFI (non-food items) distribution you can’t start until you have a reasonable amount of each item. In a mass vaccination campaign don’t take the vaccines out first and wait for needles as it will test your cold chain particularly if you have a hold up on the second trip/vehicle. In a disaster relief setting it makes no sense to truck your education sets up hand in hand with food because hungry children don’t concentrate.
So next time you load the children for any trip, consider that these are skills that will make you invaluable as a competent aid logistics load planner. If you find that load planning software means a tissue to dab away the tears perhaps The Logistics Project can help.