The purpose of this paper is to identify the value of fourth-party logistics (4PL) services in a humanitarian supply chain. Furthermore, it shows a framework for a fourth-party humanitarian logistics concept.
The research paper presents a framework of fourth-party humanitarian logistics based on the four core components described by Christopher (2005) which was evaluated with a nonlinear approach called analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The AHP method explores qualitative and quantitative decision-making criteria in case of solving multi-attribute and complex problems. In total, seven experts from academia and practice have contributed to this research, resulting in a better understanding of the decisive needs of humanitarian supply chain actors for implementing and integrating a 4PL concept.
The research shows an increased value for humanitarian supply chain actors of establishing a 4PL concept. The results present a positive influence of 4PL in complex disasters environments and provide key drivers for increasing and simplifying collaboration between the humanitarian supply chain actors.
Future research has to consider different disaster types and needs to further emphasize the added value for beneficiaries of implementing a 4PL concept in a humanitarian supply chain environment. Further research should preferably also consider case studies in order to analyse challenges, drawbacks and benefits of this concept (qualitative and quantitative factors) in a real-life humanitarian supply chain setting.
The research offers managerial insights into the use of a 4PL concept in the humanitarian supply chain environment to improve efficiency due to an improved collaboration between the humanitarian supply chain actors.
The research paper investigates an under-researched topic in the humanitarian supply chain environment. For humanitarian supply chain actors outsourcing their activities to a 4PL service provider could secure collaboration, increase service levels as well as efficiency and therefore create additional value.
Abidi, H., de Leeuw, S. and Klumpp, M. (2015), "The value of fourth-party logistics services in the humanitarian supply chain", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 35-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-02-2014-0010Download as .RIS
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