13th October

Post date: 14-Oct-2015 19:55:45

Good morning from Calais, on a very wet and cold morning.

I thought that maybe I should introduce myself. I am John and I have been in Calais for nearly one month and will be staying for another 3. I have a 30 year background in Warehousing and Logistics and with the amazing help of the fantastic volunteers I am trying to make the Calais Warehouse an operation that can best serve the needs of the Refugees.

As you can imagine it is not the easiest job due simply to the daily changing operational requirements but we are putting systems into place that will mean we become far more professional and hopefully will be able to also offer a better service to those great people that come out here with the most amazing donations. I am hoping that by the end of this month to hit a target of 5 days from arrival of donations to distribution into the Camp. I am sure that people respect the inherent problems with any operation that relies 100% on volunteers who not only work an average of 10 - 12 hours a day but do so completely at their own expense. This means the average period for 1 volunteer is 3 days so just as they become used to the systems and the way things happen they run out of money for accommodation and have to go home. (I am not complaining)

In 12 days time we are moving into a new warehouse about one third bigger than the one we operate from now. This is going to be a great opportunity to lay the warehouse out better to control the flow of goods moving round the warehouse.

As you might see from the pictures one of my biggest problems is Cardboard Boxes (Cartons) as currently I am working mainly with old recycled boxes and this is a real space waster and sometimes a bit dangerous as these cartons can fall off. So now I come to the appeal part of this post. I urgently require new boxes that come in the form of Flat Pack Cartons. I am trying to standardise the warehouse on 2 sizes60 x 40 x 32.5 cm

90 x 60 x 48 cm

This will make the job 10 times easier for the sorters, distributors and for the people working in the warehouse. So maybe anyone coming over with some spare cash might like to invest some into these cartons. We can get at least 5 round trip distributions from each good quality carton.

Please feel free to message me, John Sloan on FB with any questions but please be patient regarding replies. I try and do them as quickly as possible but at times signal is a big problem and from 8am to 7pm, I am fairly busy with the operations in the warehouse.