Specifics of Logistics Support for Humanitarian Operations

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MAGAZINE №6 (77) December 2016



KOBELEVA K.D. - economist, Russian trade and transport markets marketing department OJSC Transport Service Center, Russian Railways (Moscow, Russia)

CATEGORY Analytics and reviews Global logistics projects Supply chain management


In modern world, organizations, both in business and in the humanitarian sphere, have to look for the ways to improve their efficiency. As a result logistics has become a crucial factor for the competitiveness of commercial companies. Now it is getting more importance for humanitarian organizations as well.

The article is dedicated to the specifics of logistics in humanitarian sphere. The authors study the disaster cycle and define its main stages: ramp-up, maturity and ramp-down. For each of the stages they highlight goal of logistics, typical problems as well as specifics of the logistics processes organization.

The results of the comparative analysis have shown major distinctions between humanitarian logistics and the commercial one. Criteria for the comparison included such factors as the primary objective, types of stakeholders, presence of clear division of functions and responsibilities between supply chain participants, structure of logistics activity, type of promotional strategy, specifics of the new product development, requirements for production/operations, peculiarities of inventory management, etc.

The study is based on case analysis and review of the foreign bibliography.

The research has revealed potential areas for exchange of experience and best practices between commercial entities and humanitarian organizations. Thus, companies might take advantage of the humanitarian supply chains strengths including flexibility, swift reaction, ability to form partnerships and alliances, making use of local suppliers in order to reduce lead times, open information exchange between all the parties involved. The authors show that strategic partnership proved to be one of the most effective organizational forms for mutual training of commercial and humanitarian supply chains participants


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