Logistics Centre of the Finnish Red Cross

Mauri Ratilainen
Suomen Punaisen Ristin historian suurinta avustuslentoa lastataan 25.2.2010 . Määränpäänä Haiti.
Image: Mauri Ratilainen
Clothing aid

The Finnish Red Cross continuously accepts clean and intact everyday clothes that are sent as disaster relief aid to earthquake and flood areas, for example. The clothes donated are sorted and packed for delivery at the Logistics Centre in Tampere.

The Logistics Centre at Kalkku offers subsidised workplaces for the long-term unemployed.

The Logistics Centre located in Kalkku, Tampere, maintains the Finnish Red Cross’ international ability to help.

Organising international aid requires special skills. The Logistics Centre of the Finnish Red Cross employs some ten professionals in the areas of material supplies, technology, logistics and healthcare.

The Logistics Centre of the Finnish Red Cross:

  • Takes care of procurement needed for disaster relief and developmental cooperation activities.
  • Takes care of storage, packing and transport of aid supplies.
  • Maintains the constant readiness of disaster response units.
  • Maintains a national stockpile for disasters.

Some examples of the Logistics Centre procurement:

  • Tents
  • Blankets
  • Water cans
  • Tarpaulins
  • Mosquito nets
  • Hygiene packages
  • Seeds
  • Fertilisers
  • Food supplies
  • Stoves
  • Toilets
  • Bicycles
  • Ambulances
  • Cross-country vehicles
  • Medical supplies

The procurement rules of the Finnish Red Cross ensure that all purchases are made cost-effectively. The rules are based on Finnish legislation, EU regulations and the rules of the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO).

When comparing tenders, material procurement professionals pay particular attention to the

  • quality
  • suitability
  • price and
  • time of delivery
  • of the goods offered.

Crop seeds, for example, must be suited to the local growth conditions and usage habits of use. The Logistics Centre procures all agricultural products and foods as close to the recipient as possible. This ensures that the products are suitable for the local conditions.

Buying goods in the project region also supports local work and production. This way, external aid does not replace locally produced goods from the market and cause unemployment. It also helps control transport costs and prevent any unnecessary burden on the environment.

Also the delivery times of products are an important factor. Disaster relief aid to be sent to an earthquake area can not be subjected to a tender process lasting several months – what matters most is getting the supplies there quickly. The Logistics Centre also holds a stock of products purchased in advance and packed for disasters. Most procurements are, however, made for a longer period, such as for development cooperation lasting several years.

The international Red Cross has annual agreements for the most relevant products, such as blankets, tents, tarpaulins and water cans.
In order to ensure a uniform quality of emergency aid, the international Red Cross has developed standards for the most commonly used aid products.

Common product requirements speed up the delivery of aid as both the recipient and the supplier know what kinds of supplies are delivered to the disaster area. These standards are available at the International Red Cross web site.

The Finnish Red Cross also acts as a subcontractor for the International Red Cross, purchasing and supplying goods to the needs of aid operations of the International Red Cross around the world.
The Logistics Centre also takes care of the procurement, packing and storage of aid supplies and disaster preparedness units. Additionally, aid supplies needed for sudden domestic disasters are also stored in the centre.
The Finnish Red Cross has entered into an agreement for the storage of aid supplies with the National Emergency Supply Agency.

Material aid supplied by the Finnish Red Cross in 2010:


  • A total of 7,862,391 kilograms of material aid to 17 different countries
  • Nine disaster preparedness units to three different countries
  • 104,246 kilograms of clothing to six different countries
  • 35,812 caps, mittens and socks
  • 3,501 pairs of shoes
  • 8,385 blankets

International aid from the Finnish Red Cross is funded from the funds of the Disaster Relief Fund of the Finnish Red Cross, Foreign Ministry and the European Union as well as the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO). Private companies also support the international relief operations of the Finnish Red Cross.

Kaisa Rautiainen

The Logistics Centre of the Finnish Red Cross offers subsidised work placements for the long-term unemployed.