Supply Chain Excellence Helps To Relieve Puerto Rico’s Bottled Water Shortage

October 31, 2017 • Posted in Culture

In the month since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, the M. Holland team has witnessed the resilience of the island first-hand. While recovery efforts are slowly materializing, there are still around one million Puerto Ricans without access to reliable drinking water. To help solve this critical need, M. Holland Puerto Rico has been working with the Club Caribe Distillers (CCD) to supply the local people with the water they need to get back on their feet, according to a recent article from Caribbean Business.

As the leading producer of drinking water in Puerto Rico, CCD has been contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to supply 17 truckloads of bottled water per day. When considering the post-hurricane supply and demand for small water bottles, CCD recommended distributing water in one-gallon high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jugs, enabling citizens to reuse and collect fresh water at designated oasis locations. This distribution strategy allows CCD to continue selling smaller water bottles to supermarket stores, keeping shelves stocked while meeting the 40-percent increase in demand.

CCD obtains its packaging for small water bottles and gallon jugs from PET Plastics LLC in Cidra, Puerto Rico – an M. Holland client for 30 years. However, shipping resin materials to Puerto Rico following the hurricane has proved challenging. Our team at M. Holland has worked hard to navigate the major infrastructure challenges, leveraging partners like Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP to send Marlex® EHM 6007 Polyethylene (an HDPE resin) materials to the region.

CCD is also visiting households around the country twice a week and delivering two gallons of water to each. When asked about his motivation, CCD President Alberto De la Cruz said, “We have the production. I could be selling those gallons to supermarkets, but how is that going to help someone who doesn’t have water? It doesn’t help at all.”

Tracy Coifman, M. Holland’s Puerto Rico-based commercial manager, praised CCD’s corporate social responsibility, “We commend the CCD team for their actions and want to thank them for their generosity and kindness towards the Puerto Rican people.” He added, “We’re also grateful to everyone at PET Plastics and Chevron Philips Chemicals for their support in these efforts during a very challenging time.”

Coifman recalled recent instances where M. Holland and its business associates have excelled in very close cutoffs due to tough supply chain challenges. He noted that he’s “proud to be a contributor to this broad network of people and companies helping to make a difference in the Puerto Rican community. It’s days like this that make it all worthwhile.”

For more information on CCD’s work in Puerto Rico, please see the article here.

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