Step 10: Transport Nets to Distribution Site
- Ensure ITNs are in place in distribution points without loss through fraud, theft, or diversion.
- ITNs in place
- Initiate implementation of transport plan.
- Review context and progress and revise plans, if necessary.
- Conduct a detailed transport plan as part of the overall logistics plan, including details of partners, contractors, distances, routes, and timelines. Do it well enough in advance to allow contracting of transport to be undertaken and contingency plans to be explored in case appropriate contractors cannot be identified. Have the minimum number of contact points for the storage and transport network.
- Ensure that the partners use robust contracts with 3PLs that clearly specify which SOPs must be followed, timelines to meet, and account for all ITNs. This includes the appropriate completion of all paperwork. Contracts should detail the financial consequences if all ITNs are not accounted for.
- Consider asking the international agencies contracted to ship the ITNs to transport them down to mid-level distribution points. This reduces the number of companies involved in the supply chain and simplifies the transport and supply chain management process.
- Identify minimum standards for selecting criteria for transporters. This may be feasible only for transport to the regional- or district-level; in many cases, partners find it necessary to lower standards for transport during campaigns, when a vast number of last mile transporters are required at the end of the supply chain. It is usually possible, however, to avoid using informal transporters for CD supply chains.
- Carefully plan the delivery schedules. Build in buffers, especially for hard-to-reach areas. Deliver during the daytime and the hours when staff are in attendance and available to receive goods.
- Stakeholders must carefully coordinate the arrival, clearance, and onward transport of ITNs to avoid undue delays and leakages. Alert all storage and distribution points of the quantity of ITNs they should expect to receive.
- In places known to be at high risk for tampering with container contents, engage security personnel as escorts for consignments moving from the port to mid-level stores.
- Budget for reverse logistics and manage as carefully as logistics down the ITN supply chain. This is an important area of risk for the loss of ITNs; emphasize this during planning, training, and implementation.
- Track documents—specifically, waybills, store records, tally counts, and distribution registers—at each point of movement along the supply chain. Simplify the documentation as much as possible and use the existing in-country document formats where feasible (e.g., standard waybills and store cards already in use, inclusion of ITNs in standardized registers, and HMIS reports for routine health facility–based distribution, etc.).
- Use a standard system to complete the documents and ensure they cannot be misread (such as permitting either a tick or a cross). Include SOPs as part of the trainings.
- If specialized tracking documents are introduced (such as coupons for community-based distribution), include a plan to resupply the tracking materials. If vouchers or coupons are used to redeem the ITNs, ensure they are difficult to duplicate (for example, security printed or embossed and serialized).
- Stress the importance of a clear and accurate paper trail during training, supervision, and in contracts and evaluations.
- Some partners consider greater visibility of information (such as reporting back and publishing reports), as helpful in preventing fraud, diversion, and theft. This is particularly feasible and effective for CDs, where the numbers of ITNs received and distributed by health facilities, schools, or community groups can be routinely reported.
- Wherever possible, consider using electronic methods. Bar code scanners and cell phone reporting systems allow for real-time monitoring and can reduce the reporting burden and ease coordination.
- Use the same procedures for reverse logistics—including documentation—as for logistics down the supply chain.
- Include a detailed storage plan as part of the overall logistics plan. It should describe the quantities, volumes required, access issues around dates and times, security levels required, etc. It should be informed by storage assessments and developed sufficiently well in advance of consignment arrival to allow contracting of private storage and refurbishment of existing storage spaces.
- Conduct warehouse assessments well ahead of deliveries. The assessments should assess whether storage space and conditions are adequate and whether good warehousing practices are used.
- When nets are in stores, put several measures in place:
- Restrict access for unauthorized personnel, particularly during loading and offloading.
- Engage additional security personnel if the existing warehouse security is considered insufficient.
- Use a two-key system: two keys, held by different people, are required to enter the warehouse.
- Use alarm security and video surveillance at all times; this is most common at the central level stores, because the mid-level and below, generally, cannot affordable it.
- Do not allow personnel entering stores to carry personal bags; ensure that all trash bags are transparent.
- Use proper bale stacking to facilitate rapid inventories.
- Plan deliveries and onward transport so that storage times are as short as possible.
- Use counters to ensure accurate bale count, while ITNs are loaded and offloaded.
- Make deliveries on days when the health facility is open; specify this in the transport plan.
- The VectorWorks document, Guide to Health Facility-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets, provides more detail on these issues.
- Make deliveries in daylight hours; transporters should not be tempted to relax efforts to deliver during the day, even when delivery points are not places of work.
- The VectorWorks document, Guide to Community-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets, provides more detail on these issues.
- Do not make deliveries during school holidays or during exams.
- The VectorWorks document, Guide to School-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets, provides more detail on these issues.