Three smiling people in Red Cross clothes filling clean water containers.

Logistics Centre

Photo: Joonas Brandt / Suomen Punainen Risti

The Finnish Red Cross Logistics Centre in Kalkku, Tampere, sends out relief consignments to Finland and around the world. 

The Logistics Centre acquires the aid supplies needed for the humanitarian aid operations of the Finnish Red Cross and its development cooperation programmes . It also manages the storing and packaging of the supplies and their transport to the destination sites in Finland and abroad.

A disaster usually strikes without warning, so the materials needed by the Finnish Red Cross’s ERU disaster preparedness units are always ready to go for quick departure from the Logistics Centre. When necessary, the materials can also be utilised in domestic aid operations. 

pieces of clothing for international aid in 2023

The Kalkku Logistics Centre employs about twenty professionals of material procurement, technology, logistics and healthcare in permanent positions.

The Logistics Centre acquires the aid supplies

The Red Cross Logistics Centre procures a variety of supplies that allow the Red Cross to help as quickly and as efficiently as possible during different disasters.

Typical aid supplies distributed directly to the people in need of help include blankets, food, tents, wood-burning stoves, water canisters, tarpaulins, mosquito nets and hygiene packages.

Two Red Cross employees picking up aid supplies in the Logistics Centre, which has wide, tall shelves full of supplies.
Aid supplies ready for delivery to Bangladesh. Photo: Maria Santto / Suomen Punainen Risti

The Logistics Centre holds a great deal of procured and already packed products ready for quick departures. However, most of the procurements are done within a longer period of time, for example for long-term development cooperation.

To ensure the even quality of emergency aid, the International Red Cross has developed standards for the most common aid supplies. The standardised criteria for products allow for the mass production of aid supplies and ensure that the people in need of help receive supplies of equal quality.

These standards are publicly available on the website of the International Red Cross. The International Red Cross also has framework agreements for the key products with the product suppliers.

Aid supplies loaded into an airplane in Pirkkala, Tampere. The supplies were used to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen / Suomen Punainen Risti

If possible, aid supplies are procured locally, supporting local work and production. This also often helps reduce the transport costs and allows offering aid supplies that are well-suited to the local culture.

When comparing offers, the Finnish Red Cross considers factors such as the quality, suitability, price and delivery time of the aid supplies.

Emergency stockpiling is an essential part of the Red Cross’s operations. In disasters requiring quick action, the aid supplies are sent to those in need of help from the warehouses of either the Finnish Red Cross or the International Red Cross.

The Finnish Red Cross also supports the International Red Cross by purchasing and delivering aid supplies to the various needs of the Red Cross’s aid operations across the world.

International aid is made possible with the support of the donors of the Disaster Relief Fund, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the European Union. Businesses also help support the international aid operations of the Finnish Red Cross.

Clothing aid

The Finnish Red Cross accepts clean, undamaged everyday clothes that are sent to humanitarian operations in areas such as Mongolia and Tajikistan. The Kalkku logistics centre will no longer accept donated clothes after 31 October 2021. The stores of the Kontti chain will continue to accept clothes as normal.
Donate to clothing aid

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Learn about the operations and employees of the Finnish Red Cross’s Logistics Centre. Video: Suomen Punainen Risti
Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid
Development cooperation
Development cooperation
Emergency Response Units
Emergency Response Units