The Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations presented its Distinguished Public Service Award to Wal-Mart Transportation during the 2005 ATA Management Conference and Exhibition in Boston.
AFTC noted that during Hurricane Katrina, which devastated parts of the Gulf States and shut down 126 company stores, Wal-Mart Transportation resupplied the majority of its stores within days, enabling them to reopen and operate on a makeshift basis and distribute essential products.
From past experience in providing aid and emergency assistance during natural disasters, and relying upon an advanced supply-chain system, Wal-Mart Transportation was able to provide many of the critical items hurricane victims needed for survival.
Besides accommodating its own displaced workers, Wal-Mart shipped beds and associated supplies to the Houston Astrodome, as well as set up computers at shelters to help evacuees locate their families and fill prescriptions. Within days of the hurricane, all but 13 of its facilities shut down by the storm were up and running again. The company quickly located 97 percent of its employees displaced by the storm and offered them jobs at any Wal-Mart operation in the country.
“AFTC is honored to present its Distinguished Public Service Award to Wal-Mart Transportation, which showed that in America it is all about service – sharing what you have,” said Greg Owen, AFTC chairman. “Wal-Mart exemplifies the great American tradition of service and sharing.”
Under the direction of CEO Lee Scott, Wal-Mart truckers hauled $3 million worth of supplies to the ravaged zone. The company contributed $17 million in cash to relief efforts through the Salvation Army and to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.