Humanitarian Logistics Operations: A Review

Nathan Kunz, Gerald Reiner

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


Humanitarian logistics is a critical element of a successful relief operation, as it focuses on effective management of flows of persons, goods and information during and after a disaster. This field has been extensively studied so far, especially during the last three years. Although four literature reviews have been published on this topic up to now, they all focused on papers written between 1980 and 2008. Over 20 papers on this topic have been published since then; therefore our literature review gives an up-to-date insight on most recent publications. By using qualitative content analysis, we try to determine the main managerial problems studied until now, the major findings as well as proposed further research. We categorize the existing literature according to several attributes, such as topic, type and stage of disaster, methodology of the research, etc. We present the major findings from the existing literature, as well as the recommended steps for further research. Finally, we identify gaps between further research mentioned in the literature and the results of our content analysis. We find, for example that more attention should be given to slow onset, man-made disasters, as well as to the reconstruction phase following disasters. We also find that case studies and surveys should be used more in order to increase the empirical knowledge in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLogistikmanagement: Herausforderungen, Chancen & Lösungen
Editors Jonas Wiese
Place of PublicationBamberg, Germany
PublisherUniversity of Bamberg Press
Pages1 - 10
ISBN (Print)978-3-86309-023-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102009 Computer simulation
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502012 Industrial management
  • 211
  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502032 Quality management

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