Sub-categories Title

Chapter 12. Logistics

Quick facts

Table of Contents


12. Logistics. 133

  12.1 Aviation & Other Transport 133

       12.1.1 Air Transportation Services. 133

         12.1.2 Air Operator Vendor Registration (AOVR) 133

         12.1.3 Short-Term Air Charter 133

         12.1.4 Long-Term Air Charter 133

        12.1.5 Military Aviation. 134

   12.2 Freight Forwarding & Third-Party Logistics (3PL) 134

   12.3 Strategic Movements – Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) 135

   12.4 Strategic Movements – UN Owned Equipment (UNOE) 135

   12.5 Incoterms. 136

   12.6 Global Cargo Insurance. 136

   12.7 Goods Inbound to UNHQ.. 137



12. Logistics

12.1 Aviation & Other Transport

Transport is the movement of passengers and/or goods from one location to another. To this end, the UN charters aircraft and vessels, contracts freight forwarders, vehicles, and other logistics providers, with the purpose of providing logistics solutions in support of the mandate(s) of UN Secretariat entities, particularly field missions. The mode of transport depends on a variety of factors, including the urgency of the requirement, geography, infrastructure, and cost considerations. The procurement of transport services shall be conducted in compliance with UN Financial Regulations and Rules, as well as relevant international regulations, such as ICAO, Incoterms, etc., and is often characterized by tight schedules requiring special procurement practices, as follows.  Such services are listed in the Strategic Goods and Services Matrix under the category of Aviation & Transportation.


12.1.1 Air Transportation Services

Air transportation is a critical component of field support to UN peacekeeping and special political missions and provides logistical assistance to other entities of the UN System. Due to its highly specialized and strategic nature, as well as aviation safety considerations, air transportation services are procured centrally at UNHQ


12.1.2 Air Operator Vendor Registration (AOVR)

Please refer to Chapter of this PM.


12.1.3 Short-Term Air Charter

Short-term air charter requirements fall under the Strategic Movement element of the Movement Control operations of Peacekeeping Operations. The Movement Control Manual defines Strategic Movements as the worldwide movement of personnel and/or their equipment between their home country’s national mounting base and/or their (sea and) airports of embarkation to or from the UN mission Area of Operations (AO). The procurement of short-term air charter services, inter alia, facilitates such movements.


For passenger short-term air charters, only Air Operator Vendor Registration vendors are eligible to participate in solicitation exercises.


A separate vendor list is maintained for cargo AOC holders. These carriers, plus brokers and freight forwarders, are invited to participate in solicitations for cargo air charter services.


A standing REOI for both air passenger and cargo requirements should be maintained publicly (e.g. on the PD website and UNGM).


12.1.4 Long-Term Air Charter

Field missions conduct day-to-day air operations using a wide range of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft operated by civil air operators under commercial contracts. These commercially chartered planes and helicopters (complemented by military aircraft under Letters of Assist) make up an extensive long-term fleet of aircraft continuously supporting UN operations worldwide.


Typical air transportation services to be provided include logistical re-supply, passenger flights, VIP liaison, aeromedical/casualty evacuation (MEDEVAC/CASEVAC), troop deployment/rotations, and transportation of cargo and equipment. Air operators providing air transport services to the UN are required to continuously adhere to the UN Aviation Standards for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Air Transport Operations (UN AVSTADS), which are published on the PD website.


UN air charter contracts are based on standard Forms of Contracts developed for such requirements by OLA. Contractors are typically required to provide aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance. For air transport services provided within the operations area of a UN field mission, the UN normally provides aviation fuel (Jet A-1) and ground support services. When performing flights for the UN outside of a mission area, air operators are required to be self-sufficient.


UN contracting modalities for air transportation services include full-time/dedicated long-term air charter contracts, as well as on-call/standby air charter contracts.


12.1.5 Military Aviation

In achieving their mandates, UN peacekeeping missions may require military aviation support, provided by Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) under LOAs. Military aviation units include light-armed helicopters, light, medium, or heavy utility helicopters, as well as attack helicopters and tactical transport fixed-wing aircraft.


LOA terms and conditions shall be based on a reasonable and justifiable reimbursement for the use of the military aircraft, to be agreed upon between the UN and the TCC, which are intended to cover the direct operating costs (i.e., excluding capital investment or expenses that would be incurred regardless of the contribution to UN peacekeeping). PD shall always be involved in negotiating the financial terms and conditions of LOAs.


Aviation LOA reimbursement is normally on a per-flight-hour basis with no minimum guaranteed hours. As an exception, attack helicopters are reimbursed on a monthly rental basis, due to the unique role of such aircraft whose availability alone serves as deterrence and show of force and, as such, benefits UN peacekeeping operations with specialized military mandates. Aviation LOAs may include ancillary reimbursement items to cover other costs incurred by the TCC that are not covered by the related Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).


12.2 Freight Forwarding & Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The UN Secretariat procures a wide range of freight forwarding services in support of UN operations worldwide. These services include, inter alia, multimodal freight of United Nations Owned Equipment (UNOE) and Contingent Owned Equipment (COE). Generally, shipments are conducted via multimodal sea/surface freight, airfreight, or air cargo charters.


Multimodal Sea/Surface freight forwarding services are further defined as the movement of UNOE or COE from Origin (Door or Port) to Destination (Door or Port) via sea/surface freight. This may include full vessel charter, part cargo, liner service, etc., as well as inland transportation, inland ground waterway transportation, etc., as needed.


Air Cargo Charters are further defined as the movement of UNOE or COE from Origin to Destination via full aircraft charter. 


Airfreight is defined as follows as the booking of UNOE freight on commercial or freighter aircraft.


PD maintains a roster of pre-approved freight forwarders who are invited to bid on all freight solicitations for shipment of both UNOE and COE processed by PD. A standing REOI form for entry into the PD “Freight Forwarding Vendor Roster” (FFVR) is posted on both the UNPD website and the UNGM. Interested companies must first register as vendors with UNGM ( and then complete the REOI. The FFVR is updated on a quarterly basis, and UNPD reserves the right to remove any company from the FFVR that is deemed inactive.


12.3 Strategic Movements – Contingent Owned Equipment (COE)

COE refers to the actual equipment provided by the troop-contributing countries to carry out their day- to-day peacekeeping operations. It includes vehicles (trucks, trailers, armored vehicles, etc.), dangerous cargo of various classes, generators, road-making equipment, drilling equipment, etc. The nature and configuration of the COE dictate the type of vessel required. Most ships are designed to carry specific cargo and to load and unload in a particular way. For example, a Roll-On/Roll-Off is required to transport large numbers of vehicles. In addition, due to the military nature of COE and its political considerations, direct sailing without transshipment is usually required.


The COE Manual and the Movement Control Manual regulate requirements for Strategic Movements of COE and passengers. Strategic Movements include shipments of COE by surface transport (road, sea, and river) and air (short-term air charter), plus short-term transportation of passengers by air and road. Requirements for Strategic Movements are generally time-sensitive and are based on the tempo of the peacekeeping operations.


RFPs are typically used for the procurement of movement services for COE. As process turnaround times (and validities of vendors’ proposals) can be as short as 24 hours, technical and financial proposals are opened simultaneously, as an exception to the Opening procedures for RFPs. In addition, the Director, PD has special approval authority for these procurement cases.


Movement of COE and passengers are critical strategic components necessary for the successful execution of UN Peacekeeping operations, as both operations entail the transportation of peacekeepers (troops) and their equipment into the theatre of operations.


12.4 Strategic Movements – UN Owned Equipment (UNOE)

UNOE is defined as commercial goods that are either purchased from a UN commodity vendor for delivery to a UN entity or goods that are already in the possession of the UN (e.g., mission-to-mission cargo transfers). The Incoterm indicated in the commodity Purchase Order shall guide the procurement of freight services for UNOE commodities (see Chapter 12.5, below).


Procurement of freight-forwarding services for shipment of UNOE can be undertaken either on an individual shipment basis or through the establishment of non-exclusive freight forwarding systems contracts with a select number of freight forwarders.


12.5 Incoterms

International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) are prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce and are standardized, widely recognized trade terms to be included, by agreement of the parties, in contracts for the sale of goods. Their objective is to provide standard contractual provisions for contracts for the sale of goods by clarifying the costs, risks, and responsibilities of the parties to the contract, particularly in relation to the shipment and delivery of the goods from sellers to buyers. Incoterms do not apply to the contracts of carriage (e.g freight forwarding) but only to the delivery of goods under a sales contract.


The Requisitioner and the Procurement Official shall jointly make the determination and selection of the appropriate Incoterms to use. The chosen Incoterm shall be appropriate to the goods, to the means of transport, to the desired level of risk acceptable to the UN, and to whether the parties intend to put additional obligations (e.g. the obligation to organize carriage or insurance) on the seller or the buyer.


When establishing systems contracts for commodities, Procurement Officers shall use FCA, FOB or EXW as the default Incoterm, with DAP/DAT included on an exceptional basis, unless it is a turnkey contract. Due to the typically higher costs associated with DAP/DAT shipments, the usage of DAP/DAT under a subsequent commodity Purchase Order should also be undertaken on an exceptional basis only, with FCA/FOB/EXW the preferred Incoterm. Approved category strategies may also indicate the preferred incoterm based on a thorough analysis conducted during the strategy development process.


12.6 Global Cargo Insurance

The UN Secretariat maintains a global cargo insurance policy that covers organizational shipments of UNOE and COE up to the limits set forth in the policy. For information regarding coverage limitations, PD’s Freight Forwarding experts can be consulted at


Due to the existence of this global cargo insurance policy, it is generally not necessary to purchase additional insurance from a freight forwarder, except in the rare instances whereby the value of the cargo exceeds the coverage outlined in the global cargo insurance policy. As such, solicitations for freight forwarding services shall not request additional insurance. However, any UN-appointed freight forwarder must maintain their own liability insurance to cover losses/damages due to their negligence. A copy of the insurance policy/certificate to cover the loss and/or damage of the contracted cargo in accordance with Clause 6 of the UNGCC shall be kept in the case file by the UN entity ordering the freight forwarding services.


In the event that an insurance claim is necessary, all relevant shipping documentation (airway bill, bill of lading, packing list, UN freight, and commodity purchase orders, etc.) shall be maintained in the case file by the UN entity ordering the freight forwarding services. Procedures for Filing Cargo Claims for Organizational Shipments are attached in Annex 21.


12.7 Goods Inbound to UNHQ

Goods arriving at UNHQ for UN official use (“Inbound Goods”) must complete a multi-step customs clearance process in coordination with the host government of the United States of America. The Freight Forwarding (FF) experts in the PD facilitate this process. However, each UN Secretariat entity is responsible for ensuring that its commodity Purchase Order(s) covers delivery to “Door” of their New York office. For airfreight shipments, the importing UN entity should immediately provide the FF experts in PD with shipping documents required for clearance (commercial invoice, air waybill, and arrival notice) upon arrival of the cargo. The process for clearance generally takes four to seven (4-7) business days. As such, appointed freight forwarders should be instructed to move cargo upon arrival to a Container Freight Station (CFS) to minimize storage charges. For sea shipments, Importer Security Filing (ISF) must be completed prior to the shipment departing the origin point to avoid possible penalties from US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or other similar authorities. For information related to Inbound Goods, the Procurement Division’s Freight Forwarding experts can be consulted at



Annex 21 — Procedures for Filing Cargo Claims for Organizational Shipments