Category Archives: Supply chain disruption

Humanitarian logistics articles and other resources

Still some years ago, humanitarian logistics was seen as a novel and trendy field – at least in research. In practice, it is a bit more of business as unusual, agile, flexible, responsive, you name it, but still logistics.

Over time, the research buzz has stabilised a bit with dedicated conference, conference tracks, masters and doctoral programmes, and through the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM). Already prior to that there have been a lot of special issues in different journals (over 10 of these since 2007). Here’s a bit of help for those just starting out in this area:

Peter Tatham’s bibliography (which is quite frequently updated), and
Emerald’s ListAssist (compiled and also categorised according to different topics by Ira Haavisto)

Plus a list of special issues apart from JHLSCM:

IJPDLM: Vol.39 No.5/6/7 and Vol.40 No.8/9
TRE: Vol.43 No.6
IJSTM: Vol.12 No.4
IJRAM: Vol.13 No.1 – and with a current CFP on the topic
MRN: Vol.32 No.11
IJPE: Vol.126 No.1 – plus articles for another one can be found in the “articles in press” section
– and other journals such as Omega and POM have special issues in their pipeline.

There are some books as well, many of which have been noted on this blog previously. No need to reinvent the wheel, rather, push the envelope:-)

That said, one cannot stress it enough that beyond looking at all the publications, humanitarian logistics research also needs to be relevant for practice. And to close the loop between practice and research, here’s a CFP for research on humanitarian logistics education and training.


New book: Relief Supply Chain for Disasters: Humanitarian, Aid and Emergency Logistics

Out at last, a more research-oriented anthology on humanitarian logistics called “Relief Supply Chain for Disasters: Humanitarian, Aid and Emergency Logistics“.

And if the entire book isn’t necessary, one can always get just individual chapters on e.g. different types of partnerships, comparisons of different disasters, various aspects of peacekeeping activities (e.g. local sourcing in peacekeeping) etc., greening relief supply chains, or even an analysis that looks into the impact of disasters in light of the logistics performance of a country. Enjoy!


First issue of JHLSCM now online

Following up on its announcement, the first number of the brand new Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management is finally out – follow this link!

And the next one’s already in the publication process:-)


PS edited 3.6. – the journal has a free access period right now, check it out!

The ash cloud – a déjà vu

Once again an (Icelandic) volcano eruption is disturbing air transportation. This time industry is reacting in a different way, though:

– The Brits have left it up to individual airlines to decide upon cancellations – a bit like the old “truck or snake” dilemma, I reckon, i.e. do you prefer to be hit by technical failures (in mid air when the air plane collapses) or economic ones (back on earth when the airline goes bankrupt).
Travel agencies want to introduce an insurance against natural disasters (a bit like the home insurances that already exist in this field).
– A movie is been made through facebook on things that happened to people stranded due to the ash cloud a year ago, with people asked to write their own characters. I reckon some more may be added now:-)

Yet the situation of light cancellations, potential impacts on various industries that depend on air transportation, the impact rolling out up- and downstream in the supply chain is quite a déjà vu of April 2010… Or a “bon voyage” moment, as Matti Nykänen would say.


I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Or: “Leise rieselt der Schnee...” Christmas carols are full of the snow theme. So are many European airports at this point. To the extent that BBC even reported on how Helsinki airport can manage to keep open with 65 cm snow in December alone whilst others need to close. The lesson is just so familiar in humanitarian logistics: preparedness is key to respond to any disruption.


PS. Hope you are all prepared for the holidays and get to spend them with your families in spite of the snow chaos. Lessons from intermodal transportation might help in getting there:-) And if you want to hear the song, here’s the Robbie Williams version of dreaming of a white Christmas.

Man-made disruptions once again

One doesn’t need a volcano, a strike is enough as demonstrated at the world cup in South Africa. French unions seemingly learned from this and are shutting down all modes of transportation today. Oil tankers are waiting to be unloaded thus petrol price is on the rise.

People should call their flight/train/bus/taxi/you name it company to get more information – but ironically, the helpdesk joined the strike. On the upside there are at least joint platforms to monitor such man-made disruptions around the globe.

Gyöngyi, perhaps on her way to France – or then not.

Timing your supply chain disruption – or the World Cup in South Africa

Events (even reoccurring ones such as the first snow or particular holidays) are always a good excuse for supply chain disruptions. Snow in London can shut down all transportation in and out the city, leaving industry and shops without materials and products. The Chinese New Year impacts on any supply chain with an echelon in China – and honestly, which one doesn’t in today’s global supply chains?

Yet we can only learn from South African ports where a strike has been timed as to escalate the effects of a major event (the soccer / football World Cup), leading to another six week of backlog. This is nothing even compared to the construction strike a year prior to the event. You don’t need an ash cloud to shut down transportation…