Pack Animals

Any goods being moved via animal must be packaged in relation to the weight that the particular animal can safely and humanely carry. There are many possible variations of available local animals depending on geography, climate, the local economy, and a variety of other local conditions. 

A general guide to working limitations of different pack animals might look like:


Load Capacity

Daily Work Rate



500 kg

5-8 hours/walk 24 km



50 kg

Mountain, 8 hours

Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Latin America & Caribbean


50 kg

Mountain, 8 hours

Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Latin America & Caribbean


50-80 kg

8-10 hours/walk 30 km

South America


60 kg

6 hours

Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East & North Africa


150-250 kg

8-10 hours

Middle East & North Africa, South Asia


150-250 kg

Walk 50 km

Middle East & North Africa, South Asia


70 kgs


South Asia

Pack animals estimated their work rates - WFP Transport and Logistics Manual 

Speaking with a local expert is strongly advised when developing an animal delivery plan. Typically, use of pack animals will be negotiated and contracted directly with the owners, or those in control of the animals who will be responsible for the transport. These may include:

  • Village elders.
  • Local authorities.
  • Committees of animal owners.
  • Local NGOs.

Transport documents will vary, but a variation of the standard method may be used, possibly amended as follows:

  • Issue one waybill for each group.
  • Divide the animals into groups under one supervisor.
  • List animal owners and number of animals provided by each individual.
  • Assign a quantity of consignment to each group, for accountability.

All contracts for carriage by pack animals should still undergo the standard procurement process established by each individual agency, and and be within each agencies procurement procedures.

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