Before a polar project can be planned, the focus, duration, equipment requirements, team size, experience, budget, and goals must be understood. Next, an array of possible locations may be considered in order to select a single location or evaluate how multiple areas could be coordinated as required. In depth research confirmed through multiple independent corroboration with Polar Logistics’ international network of accomplished professionals will refine and validate all information and assumptions.
One or more scouting expeditions may be done depending upon project size to provide a first-hand confirmation prior to developing a full expedition plan. For smaller projects, we can provide advice on dozens of locations based on our experience operating in each area to save the significant cost of scouting trips. The expedition advisory phase ends with the selection of a specific location or sequence of locations.
Operating a polar project can be the easy part if the planning has been done properly. Although flexibility is an essential ingredient in all polar work, it does not negate the importance of planning all aspects of the expedition. Polar Logistics has a very thorough and deliberate planning process.
Polar Logistics can assist or take sole responsibility for all flight planning, accommodations & transfers, ground transportation, equipment selection, camp management, fuel management, staff selection, menus & food preparation, waste management, specialized clothing, and thorough participant briefings.
In short, we ensure that every polar project has been well thought-out so nothing is overlooked. Smooth operations are influenced almost entirely by the quality and thoroughness of the planning, and we pride ourselves on having such planning down to a science.
Depending upon the project, permitting requirements may be extensive. Import and export permits, licences to transport firearms across international borders, and archeological permits are just a few of the documents you may need to conduct your polar project. From research licences, land use authorizations, and national parks permissions to permits for water usage, explosives, and specific radio frequencies, Polar Logistics can assist to ensure you polar project is properly permitted, saving you expensive delays or possible cancellation.
The best laid plans almost invariably require flexibility if some aspect goes awry. We expect this and we try to plan for such scenarios, so we can respond rapidly with the back up plans. Contingencies generally fall into a number of recurring categories including:
Transportation delays – Equipment or project members may be delayed.
Weather – May prevent movement or delay the project goals.
Reliability – Suppliers or equipment may not operate to the degree of reliability we expect.
Safety – All scenarios must be understood and have well rehearsed responses.
The process to plan a menu for a group over an extended period in a remote area is a large task. Our Camp Chef will spearhead the planning and seek feedback to ensure that the cuisine is customized to the groups’ palette and to accommodate both the itinerary and contingencies.
Supplies for the expedition must be ordered and purchased in advance. This purchasing phase may start many months in advance of the expedition. To minimize airfreight, sea freight may be used in some cases, which could necessitate packing being finalized an entire year in advance! Ordering additional equipment and supplies, tracking packages, dealing with customs and brokerage, receiving packages and, repacking equipment into our shipping containers can be an enormous job in itself.
Depending upon the location and project goals, all participants may require various training programs or licenses. Whether it is a firearms license, survival training, radio operator license, ice rescue training, boat operators credentials, first aid certification, or other specialized training, such as bear safety, hyperbaric medicine, food safety, or vehicle operation, we can organize and frequently teach all courses either before departure or, occasionally, in the field.
As flights to certain polar locations may be infrequent, connections can be challenging to plan in order to minimize the time in transit. Every time that project dates are moved even a little, there may be a whole chain of other dates that need to change and as all are set to work with infrequent schedules, the task of re-scheduling can be a significant one.
The company or institution may opt to look after most of the arrival and departure information into and out of the polar gateway city or Polar Logistics can make such arrangements such as international flights, airport transfers, and hotel reservations.
International travelers may require work visas depending upon the country of citizenship, employer, length of time in a foreign country and job responsibilities. Polar Logistics can provide assistance to both review potential requirements and facilitate obtaining appropriate visas as necessary. Occasionally, logistical plans may make clearance desirable at locations which are not designated or staffed points of entry. With sufficient advanced clearance from border security and immigration, landing in these places may be possible and Polar Logistics can make it happen.
When serious problems arise, actions must be taken swiftly. The initial actions may be predetermined in the field but subsequent details such as medical evacuation flights and hospital availability for specialized procedures must all be confirmed. Interfacing with insurance providers, police and/or search and rescue may all require around the clock availability to ensure communication flows smoothly for the most efficient resolution of the emergency.
Depending upon the type of work, nationality of the employer, and country where work is performed, there may be opportunities to claim back various government taxes on purchases or services. For film work, there may be an opportunity, depending upon the territory, to claim rebates on labour. Polar Logistics can help prepare and submit documentation to recuperate such costs and take advantage of any incentive programs whenever possible.
When working closely or through an arctic community, community members and organizations both appreciate and may require consultation as part of various permitting processes. The closest community may also be an important logistical link for airplanes or personnel en route to the final camp location. When possible, Polar Logistics, will try to hire support staff for camps from the closest communities as a way to reduce costs and create local employment. Polar Logistics prides ourselves on our close relationships and ability to work with all community members and organizations and is pleased to communicate with the town citizens and councils about plans and ways that the community can assist with and benefit from the projects.
Meals are a critical aspect to the running of large camps and the success of any ambitious project. Polar Logistics’ culinary team can prepare anything from advanced freeze-dried menus for emergency rations or travel in extremely cold conditions to pre-prepared comfort food and fresh gourmet meals prepared by chefs of the highest distinctions. With advance planning that starts as soon as a project is confirmed, our chef will prepare a menu specific to the group’s culinary tastes and logistical constraints.