The art of crisis management in logistics as possible support for warfare.

By Robert Sadowski, CEO, Sawa Logistics

I have been associated with transport and forwarding industry for over two decades.

I devoted a significant part of this time to the area of emergency shipping and the search for solutions in crisis situations. I share my insights as a company manager for nearly 15 years but also, I’ve been actively involved in operation and social work. I gained my experience by organizing the delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraq, by providing assistance to Tanzania, as a courier on board transporting biological material or transports with humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

During one of my last humanitarian transports supervised by me to Ukraine, I was escorted by an American soldier, with experience in many missions, who later joined the International Legion fighting to defend Ukraine. He told me then ‘ ’ you are a civilian and you will always be a civilian to me, but your actions, every stage you plan and how you respond to crises gives me awareness that I’m in good hands. I am for that, to defend you my friend and you take care of the rest” After returning to Poland, I thought about his words and how dependent we were and how our skills of efficient operation intertwined with each other. This is the best praise I could hear. After all, he was a regular soldier who knows perfectly well what he needs to say ‘’ mission completed ‘’

We often say that logistics is struggling every day, the army is exercising, logistics is implementing the plan in practice. It is often even said that logistics is ‘’ goddess of war” From my perspective, both military and civil logistics intertwine very much and cooperation, exchange of experience can bring mutual benefits. Both parties follow the same praxeological cycle: from diagnosis (fact collection), forecasts (prediction), planning and programming, implementation, and evaluation of facts.

We are dealing here with the constant creation of contingency plans for production, in just-time deliveries, threat to life, health, loss of finances, or business.

Following the words of 34 of the American presidents, at the same time a hero and general of the American army, fighting in World War II, nominated as commander-in-chief of the Allied expeditionary forces, general of arms Dwight Eisenhower, who said “Plan is nothing, planning everyone”.

It works everywhere and at any time, when Covid-19 touched us but now in the war in Ukraine or the observed recession. The quintessence of these words can be reflected in the creation of response procedures, without instructions covering their use and proper use, with a translation into data, sensitive situations. Such characteristics are observed in enterprises implementing the so-called. ‘’ Emergency Shipping” These entities react dynamically to specific threats which are given exceptional weight, individual, sometimes personal even high-level confidentiality of the case. The search for solutions in crisis situations by persons exercising management functions in transport and forwarding are the basic starting pillars for further specialized activities and active operational involvement.

Finding an effective analysis of problems arising in road transport in regards to the need to look for solutions, should be understood through transport processes. Challenges and difficulties in road transport, global logistics and forwarding are the nature of the weekday. However, response systems should be consistent, tailored and individually effective to enable entity development and security internal and environmental organizations over decades.

How to deal with problems that have occurred for years? How about those that appear suddenly and unexpectedly? What standards and ranges of necessary work should be adopted? What response schemes can work? From my perspective, the leading factor


connecting the army and the transport industry is stress, and the key skill – dealing with him. According to numerous literatures analyzes as well as scientific discussions, it is important to focus on the problem but through the prism of those elements that, for example, the driver / soldier has an impact and can change them completely or partially, reduce or avoid their negative consequences. The elements that cause stress are defined by both the requirements, social and physical conditions prevailing in the enterprise, as well as individual factors that result from skills, knowledge, health status and experience.

Employee competences have their source in these skills, which are created through knowledge from experience, as well as acquired qualifications. You can’t forget about the impact of the so-called soft spheres, i.e., the attitude of the individual, as well as the created personality traits, as well as abilities. This can characterize both the soldier and logistics, in turn analysis and creation of crisis response scenarios, designing decision paths for unwanted negative phenomena. Army activities can be compared in certain situations, using variables and the application of specific event components to the logistic industry. This a new source of knowledge acquisition as part of an interdisciplinary approach, resulting from correlations of various sectors, fields, industries.

In my opinion, it can be an alternative source of articles, textbooks, inaccessible in the broader literature or publicly available to the business world, based on a structured theoretical and scientific basis. Thanks to this at the same time explains the structure of causes of negative events in the industry logistic crystallizing various methods, tools and techniques for resolving conflicts, problems and difficulties. By skillful scaling, they can be transferred to the command segment of the team, battalion, division, corps, ultimately the entire army.

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