24/10/2012, Prof. Maria Besiou (Kühne Logistics University), on "Same Ball, Different Game: Humanitarian Logistics vs Commercial Logistics"


 Indian Ocean tsunami, Afghanistan, Darfur, Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami… These were just a few examples of disasters that took place during the last 8 years. According to the international disaster database every year 400 disasters occur on average, killing around 75.000 people and affecting some 200 million people. The frequency and impact of disasters is rising, increasing dramatically the need for humanitarian action. At the same time humanitarian organizations face serious challenges to deliver the right goods and services to the right people at the right time and cost. Humanitarian logistics is an emerging field of operations management research. In my inaugural lecture, I will focus on transportation in international humanitarian organizations (IHO) and the challenges that it faces differentiating it from commercial logistics. Transportation is the second largest overhead cost to international humanitarian organizations after personnel. IHO often implement relief and development programs simultaneously. With headquarters in Europe or USA and programs (operations) in developing countries, IHO are frequently decentralized. Moreover, IHO program delivery is funded by donors and funding is typically earmarked for specific programs. My talk studies the IHO dual mission of relief and development in stochastic operations with different levels of earmarked funding. Focusing on metrics of equity and efficiency I find that even if in commercial logistics decentralization decreases the lead time and improves the service level, in humanitarian logistics it is not the same. In particular, due to the interaction of dual mission and earmarked funding, a decentralized system with local procurement and a short lead time may consistently take longer to supply transportation for disaster response than a centralized system with global procurement and high lead time.

More about Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou



October 24th, 2012 @ 06:00 pm


October 24th, 2012 @ 07:00 pm


Kühne Logistics University (KLU) 
Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung
Grosser Grasbrook 17
20457 Hamburg, Germany  
Click here to get directions to the KLU.


Birgit Kappert


+49 40 328707-202


+49 40 328707-209


Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid
Großer Grasbrook 17 
20457 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 40 328707-241
Email: aloha@riloha.org





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