World Food Programme won the 2019 Best Transport Achievement Award for their SHERP project: Augmenting WFP’s last-mile capacity by using amphibious all-terrain vehicles.
SHERP is the name given to the amphibious all-terrain vehicle recently piloted by WFP. Its key objective for engaging in alternative modes of transportation is to reduce transport costs by replacing airlifts and airdrops, which accounts for a substantial share of its overall operations budget.
WFP’s Global Fleet Unit has been assessing innovative solutions to ensure the operational continuation of goods deliveries by WFP’s truck fleet under complex conditions. Due to poor infrastructure, tough terrain and flooded roads, WFP often relies on airdrops and airlifts during rainy season. Transporting goods by air, however, results in both extensive costs and significantly higher environmental impact compared to overland transportation. Often, it’s the “last-mile” that poses the most difficulties for road transportation and eventually leaves no other option than to use aircrafts to deliver food commodities.
SHERP, an all-terrain vehicle, has outstanding, unparalleled off-road performance, excellent maneuverability, simple engineering and the ability to float and pass any terrain, including swamps and climbing obstacles up to one meter.
The trial operations showed that the SHERP allowed WFP to reach its destinations at a fraction of the cost of air transportation: A 75% reduction in cost resulted in effective savings of USD 1.7m in 5 weeks. The use of the SHERP also positively impacts the effectiveness of WFP’s food transport operations as they allow them to reach locations irrespective of the seasonal and weather conditions.