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Distribute Aid Gets Vital Supplies Where They Are Needed Most - Fast

$500k has provided more than $500,000 of in-kind transportation to Distribute Aid since 2020


For every $1 of in-kind transportation, $20 worth of aid has been delivered


Utilising Flexport’s platform to respond to disasters in 13 countries across 4 continents

Distribute Aid is re-imagining humanitarian aid delivery. They’re a nonprofit organisation working to move humanitarian aid to where it is needed most, efficiently and with a low carbon footprint. They offer support to a huge network of grassroots organisations working in Europe and the Middle East.

As logistical challenges go, delivering crucial aid to countries facing humanitarian crises is one of the hardest. Depending on the nature of the crisis, there can be a bewildering amount of challenges to overcome - ports may have sustained physical damage, government officials are trying to manage an array of crises, bureaucratic processes are often in limbo, communication coverage can be spotty, and unique challenges can accompany each crisis.

Distribute Aid was founded in 2019 by Sara Lönegård and Taylor Fairbank to help overcome the logistical issues that arise when sending large amounts of aid to areas in crisis. Beginning with solving the problem of how to move a donation of 500,000 bars of soap, the charity soon played a key role in getting supplies to refugee camps on Greek islands at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, they have worked on supporting UK grassroots organisations to overcome Brexit-related red tape in distributing goods to continental Europe, as well as supporting people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Extending reach globally

Back in 2019, Distributed Aid’s volunteers initially managed the logistical admin work of shipping themselves but quickly realised that given the complexities of the industry, coupled with the unique situations of these shipments, dedicated support was needed. Shipments were ad hoc and sporadic and were not functioning as expected by co-founder Taylor Fairbank. With a background in tech, Fairbank was aware of Flexport and reached out to see if they could support. A collaboration was soon established with, the impact arm of Flexport; helps organisations ship humanitarian aid around the world and offers programs to help all clients decarbonize their supply chains.

The biggest challenge for Distribute Aid, according to Taylor Fairbank was, “How do we develop repeatable processes? Flexport really has those down. Rather than working with 12 different freight forwarders, depending on the route and depending on the region, we could focus on building out the rest of our organisation.”

Beginning with their work in Greek refugee camps during the pandemic, the partnership with Flexport now encompasses transporting aid to Lebanon, Ukraine and the Balkans. It has even included moving solar panels from Germany to Moldova to help a community centre transition to a sustainable energy source. Distributed Aid’s role in these processes is to act as an intermediary between frontline organisations with on-the-ground knowledge and logistical solutions, and those willing to make substantial in-kind donations. Overall, their goal is to make these kinds of complex shipments easier, faster and safer.

Flexport platform enabling worldwide connectivity

Flexport’s partnership with Distribute Aid deepened with an award of $50,000 of in-kind logistics support in 2020, but our platform and team of experts is where the true value lies. Many logistical processes are easy and repeatable: the system allows Distribute Aid to benefit from simple and structured support that prevents critical aid cargo from being delayed, or for unnecessary transport costs to be incurred due to lack of visibility or poor communication. It connects volunteers and recipient organisations in disparate locations and aids in paperwork and tracking documents. Meanwhile, its historical data serves as a useful tool for reporting and handovers, which is vital given the often high turnover in volunteer organisations.

“The Flexport platform is very helpful,” says Head of Operations David Brown. “We’ve worked with other freight partners who don’t have that kind of system. It has definitely allowed us to have a more structured process on our end.”

The platform’s flexibility has been vital in enabling Distribute Aid to play its intermediary role between donors and organisations on the front line in contexts that are often dynamic and fast-evolving.

“When you’re working with a refugee crisis,” Brown continues, “things can change quickly day-to-day. The needs of people change based on things like the season, fluctuations in food supply, and a long list of other reasons. Grassroots organisations have the ability to adapt to these situations on a very local level that large organisations just can’t match. Our ability to have that kind of adaptability means there is much more of an opportunity to offer a precise application of aid to different situations.”

“Flexport has been a huge help in navigating big in-kind donations,” says Fairbank. “When you show up in a truck in a massive commercial warehouse with 20 different loading bays – instead of someone yelling at you on the phone, Flexport’s support has been cool, calm and professional. There’s that positive problem-solving attitude you need when you’re moving winterization supplies from the UK to Lebanon, or food aid from Spain to Romania and Ukraine.”

In parallel to this, they are developing a hub network in the US which is set to be fully functional before the onset of hurricane season, along with offering continued support for people displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Distribute Aid and have been working together since 2020.


Distribute Aid acts as an intermediary between large donors of in-kind aid and grassroots organizations on the front lines. supports solving the logistical challenges of shipping large quantities of material to challenging regions.


Flexport’s platform serves as a central hub connecting stakeholders globally, enabling information sharing among various parties, ensuring accurate records, and streamlining communications in complex, fast-changing environments.

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  • It's been so great to see a company that really cares about using what it does commercially to create social good in the world.

    Taylor Fairbank

    Co-Founder, Distribute Aid