The Republic of Marshall Islands is a country spread across 1000Km of ocean. Made up of 1157 Islands formed into 27 Atoll and two Islands. Majuro the capital, is in the South East of the country some 400Km form Kwajalein Atoll at the geographic centre.
Logistics and transport links only occur by sea or air. All Islands and atolls outside Majuro the capital are referred to as the ‘outer islands’. Air bridges to the islands consist only of a weekly flight by the government owned Air Marshall Islands that provides a passenger service and a limited freight service.
While there is a flight schedule, weekly flights are not always achieved due to operational issues. All fights by AMI leave from Majuro as this is the only airport with facilities to support air services other than the Military USAG Base on Kwajalein. AMI aircraft are available for charter.
Inter-Island Sea Freight connections are the most relied upon with 4 3-400Mt (150MT hold capacity) freighters, including 1 Landing craft, operated by Marshall Island Shipping Company (MISCO). The vessels operate on 4 separate geographic areas primarily as a freight delivery service but more importantly copra collection RMIs largest export product. These schedules operate concurrently on a 2-3 week cycle which is invariably flexible.
The major centres of Majuro and Ebeye contain 70% of the population with the remaining 23 atolls (two are uninhabited) containing the remaining 30%.
While Majuro with 27000 people has the main international and domestic wharves, it is also the business hub and it holds the greatest number of retail and manufacturing operations including Copra processing and a fish cannery. However while this is the case warehouse space is very limited. There are no major warehouse store with the biggest available warehouse belonging to MISCO 400M2 at Uliga Dock. Containers are by far the most common form of storage throughout Majuro. No outer islands have containers due to the inability to move them.
Recent refitting of MISCO fleet, improving fuelling facilities at Uliga dock and the clearing Ebeye dock for future development are the domestic logistics platform improvements being undertaken.
Kwajalein/Ebeye being geographically centrally located has the potential to be a transit hub/staging point in the event of a disaster however Ebeye has little or no storage availability, nor resources without future development. Kwajalein with USAG operations, while having the capacity, cannot be considered a support option without further communication and subsequent formal agreement between them and the humanitarian community.