Decision-making tools for distribution networks in disaster relief

The devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was compounded by the significant logistical challenges of distributing relief to those in need. Unfortunately this is the case with many disasters. Rapid and efficient distribution of water, food, medication and other essential supplies is crucial to saving lives and rebuilding the region. A research team at Northwestern University leveraged its expertise in supply chain management and vehicle navigation under uncertainty to study design and operational improvements for humanitarian relief chains. This project brought insights from this research to the relief community through the development of decision‐making tools for supply distribution. The report is organized as follows. Chapter 2 describes the survey to better understand relief routing through interviews with aid organizations, reviews of their publications, and a literature review of operations research models in transportation of relief goods. The authors provide an analysis of the use of such models from the perspective of both practitioners and academics. Chapters 3 and 4 describe operations research models based on this work. Chapter 3 introduces the single‐stop relief routing model and Chapter 4 details work in designing enhanced search zones for search and rescue operations. Finally, Chapter 5 presents an overview of future work.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01353565
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: UTC, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 7 2011 11:22AM