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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Michael Veatch and Jarrod Goentzel

Scheduling the airlift of relief supplies into a damaged or small airport during a crisis is complex yet crucial. The volume of cargo and flights can temporarily overwhelm…

Abstract

Purpose

Scheduling the airlift of relief supplies into a damaged or small airport during a crisis is complex yet crucial. The volume of cargo and flights can temporarily overwhelm the airport’s capacity and the mix of flights adds complexity. The purpose of this paper is to better characterize airport operations during a crisis, to develop a model that can assess strategies for scheduling flights and to draw implications for decision makers.

Design/methodology/approach

First, empirical data are analyzed to characterize airport operations. Previously unreported data from the 2010 Haiti earthquake response in the form of a “flight log” are analyzed to provide new insights and parameters. Alternate scheduling strategies are drawn from review of the literature and After Action Reports. Second, a queuing model is developed to understand operations in past crises and predict the impact of alternate scheduling strategies. Empirical data provide the parameters for airport scenarios evaluated.

Findings

Unloading capacity is seen to be the bottleneck but also to not be fully utilized, suggesting that a more aggressive flight schedule is needed. Scheduling flights is shown to be a tradeoff between volume of aid delivered and flights that must be diverted. The proper mix of aircraft and prioritized divert policies also provide benefits. Finally, it is beneficial, though perhaps counterintuitive, to create a parking buffer upstream from the unloading bottleneck.

Originality/value

Analysis of previously unreported data from the Haiti earthquake provides new insights regarding airport parking and unloading operations. A new model of airport scheduling for disaster response is proposed. The model differs from other humanitarian airlift models in that it focuses on aircraft parking and unloading. It differs from commercial aircraft scheduling and gate assignment in the objective used.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Ira Haavisto and Jarrod Goentzel

The purpose of the paper is to deepen the understanding of supply chain performance objectives in the humanitarian context by striving to understand the underlying goals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to deepen the understanding of supply chain performance objectives in the humanitarian context by striving to understand the underlying goals and conceptual variables behind the measurement of performance, such as efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is an in-depth case study with one humanitarian organization. The data are gathered with mixed methods over a two-year period. Interviews were conducted in August 2010 and April 2012, and a survey conducted in October 2012.

Findings

Misalignments are detected among different groups in humanitarian operations and between their goals and processes. These misalignments could possibly be corrected through long-term thinking in short-term operations by considering sustainability aspects throughout humanitarian assistance, for example. In addition, efficiency was a commonly identified objective in the case organization, although the definition varied widely and extended beyond the traditional definition of productivity to include planning, accountability and quality.

Practical implications

Better communication and definition of terms is necessary to align goals and the power hierarchy in humanitarian supply chains, where operations seem to be structured more according to donor requirements then beneficiary needs.

Originality/value

This is an in-depth case study, applying goal-setting theory to study supply chain performance. The study further responds to the public “aid efficiency” discussion by striving to recognize how efficiency is understood and how it can be measured in a humanitarian supply chain.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Erica Gralla, Jarrod Goentzel and Bernard Chomilier

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze a successful training exercise in detail, through both a practical and a theoretical lens, in order to identify…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze a successful training exercise in detail, through both a practical and a theoretical lens, in order to identify critical aspects of its success and enable others to build upon it; and to capture insights and lessons learned in a framework that will facilitate the design of future trainings for a variety of goals and audiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors document and analyze the case study of a successful humanitarian logistics training exercise: the World Food Programme’s Logistics Response Team (WFP’s LRT) training. The LRT is described in detail in order to capture the extensive knowledge and experience that went into developing the full-scale, immersive exercise.

Findings

The authors evaluate the LRT training through a theoretical lens, considering how it teaches the diverse set of skills required and identifying reasons for its success. The authors contrast the LRT with a light version developed for classroom use, and capture insights in a framework that highlights critical aspects of training design.

Research limitations/implications

The requirements and design aspects highlighted in the framework are very high level, but they focus attention on key aspects that should be considered. Future research should develop more targeted metrics for evaluating what people learn from training exercises. More generally, a systematic approach to capturing knowledge and codifying good practices should be developed.

Practical implications

The detailed case study and framework provide a basis for the design and improvement of simulated emergency training exercises, which are common in the humanitarian practice community.

Originality/value

The case study of WFP’s LRT training formally documents valuable knowledge and experience that went into its development. The humanitarian community can use the proposed framework to more systematically evaluate, improve, and extend training exercises.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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