Outsourcing in humanitarian logistics – status quo and future directions

Timo Goßler, Tina Wakolbinger, Christian Burkart

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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Outsourcing of logistics has great importance in disaster relief. Aid agencies spend several billion US dollars every year on logistics services. However, the concept of outsourcing has not been established adequately in literature on humanitarian logistics, leading to a fragmented view of the practice. This paper provides a holistic perspective of the concept by constructing a conceptual framework to analyze both practice and research of outsourcing in humanitarian operations. Based on this analysis, we explore future trends and identify research gaps.
The paper is based on a structured review of academic literature, a two-round Delphi study with 31 experts from aid agencies and a complementary full-day focus group with twelve experts from aid agencies and logistics service providers.
The paper systemizes the current practice of outsourcing in humanitarian logistics according to a conceptual framework of five dimensions: subject, object, partner, design and context. In addition, it reveals ten probable developments of the practice over the next years. Finally, it describes eight important research gaps and presents a research agenda for the field.
The literature review considered peer-reviewed academic papers. Practitioner papers could provide additional insights into the practice. Moreover, the Delphi study focused on the perspective of aid agencies. Capturing the views of logistics service providers in more detail would be a valuable addition.
The paper establishes the academic basis for the important practice of outsourcing in humanitarian logistics. It highlights essential research gaps and, thereby, opens up the field for future research.
Seiten (von - bis)403 - 438
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 101015 Operations Research