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A novel structure to model the distribution of relief items in a post-disaster situation

Reza Sakiani (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology , Tehran, Iran)
Abbas Seifi (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology , Tehran, Iran)
Reza Ramezani Khorshiddost (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology , Tehran, Iran)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 22 February 2021

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

There is usually a considerable shortage of resources and a lack of accurate data about the demand amount in a post-disaster situation. This paper aims to model the distribution and redistribution of relief items. When the new data on demand and resources become available the redistribution of previously delivered items may be necessary due to severe shortages in some locations and surplus inventory in other areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented model includes a vehicle routing problem in the first period and some network flow structures for succeeding periods of each run. Thereby, it can produce itineraries and loading plans for each vehicle in all periods when it is run in a rolling horizon manner. The fairness in distribution is sought by minimizing the maximum shortage of commodities among the affected areas while considering operational costs. Besides, equity of welfare in different periods is taken into account.

Findings

The proposed model is evaluated by a realistic case study. The results show that redistribution and multi-period planning can improve efficiency and fairness in supply after the occurrence of a disaster.

Originality/value

This paper proposes an operational model for distribution and redistribution of relief items considering the differences of items characteristics. The model integrates two well-known structures, vehicle routing problem with pickup and delivery and network flow problem to take their advantages. To get more practical results, the model relaxes some simplifying assumptions commonly used in disaster relief studies. Furthermore, the model is used in a realistic case study.

Keywords

Citation

Sakiani, R., Seifi, A. and Ramezani Khorshiddost, R. (2021), "A novel structure to model the distribution of relief items in a post-disaster situation", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 441-463. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-11-2019-0257

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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