Canadian companies build Covid-19 procurement hub

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

CALGARY – A group of Canadian companies and business associations has created a hub to share information on the availability of key personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Canadians return to work, there is an increasing need to ensure employees have access to PPE and other products to keep them safe from COVID-19 infection. Sourcing masks, hand sanitizers and gowns is often challenging.

The Rapid Response Platform ( acts as a match-maker – connecting suppliers of critical COVID-19 products with businesses and front line workers in need. The site is free to use and acts as a central supply and demand hub, offering transparent and searchable information about PPE availability.

Suppliers may offer products for donation or sale. No transactions take place on the platform.

Uniquely, Rapid Response Platform also highlights ingredients in short supply, to help maximize production across the network and to identify gaps in local and national manufacturing of critical products.

“Our small team in Alberta and Newfoundland quickly realized we could make real impact during this COVID-19 crisis by automated and instant matching of supply and demand,” said Devshree Gavande, VP architecture at, a platform where shippers can match their chemical bulk freight loads with available tanker capacity.

“We thank stakeholders for their time and expertise and look forward to active participation by all across Canada. Furthermore, we will continue to stay in touch with federal, provincial and municipal levels of the Canadian government to ensure we collaborate wherever possible.”

BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, is teaming up with the Rapid Response Platform to show its support to a collective initiative, which allows several businesses to work together across the country.

“As sectors from healthcare to retail to manufacturing have seen over the past few months, our personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chains are facing unprecedented stress,” said Matt Poirier, director of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

“For manufacturers producing and looking to sell many of these goods or for those looking to buy it for their operations, The Rapid Respond Platform is the solution. This service is what manufacturers need to keep employees protected and factories running.”

Early contributors and supporters include Automate Canada, Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), BASF Canada, Business Council Canada (BCC), Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM), Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN), Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Canadian European Roundtable for Business, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA), Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Earnscliffe Strategy Group, United Nations Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC), Industry Science & Economic Development (ISED) Canada, National Research Council (NRC), and WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC).

“As the coronavirus outbreak has greatly impacted our society, BASF Canada has been looking for ways to positively contribute. We are happy to support this initiative that looks at addressing key challenges to reopening the economy: access to PPEs and critical COVID-19 related supplies and more importantly the related replenishment of these supply chains,” said Marcelo Lu, president of BASF Canada.

PPE products on the Rapid Response Platform include hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, surface sanitizer, face shields and gowns.