Humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations

Gyöngyi Kovács (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration (Hanken), Helsinki, Finland)
Karen M. Spens (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration (Hanken), Helsinki, Finland)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Publication date: 20 March 2007

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to further the understanding of planning and carrying out logistics operations in disaster relief.

Design/methodology/approach

Topical literature review of academic and practitioner journals.

Findings

Creates a framework distinguishing between actors, phases, and logistical processes of disaster relief. Drawing parallels of humanitarian logistics and business logistics, the paper discovers and describes the unique characteristics of humanitarian logistics while recognizing the need of humanitarian logistics to learn from business logistics.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual in nature; empirical research is needed to support the framework. The framework sets a research agenda for academics.

Practical implications

Useful discussion of the unique characteristics of humanitarian logistics. The framework provides practitioners with a tool for planning and carrying out humanitarian logistics operations.

Originality/value

No overarching framework for humanitarian logistics exists in the logistics literature so far. The field of humanitarian logistics has so far received limited attention by logistics academics.

Keywords

Citation

Kovács, G. and Spens, K. (2007), "Humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 99-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030710734820

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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