Need to Reformulate Humanitarian Logistics Modeling to Explicitly Consider Social Costs

This paper intends to contribute to the field of humanitarian logistics modeling by discussing the differences between commercial and humanitarian logistics, and suggesting a reformulation of the objectives pursued by the analytical models used in humanitarian relief operations. The comparison between humanitarian and commercial supply chains shows that, although both may seem similar on the surface, the challenges to the humanitarian supply chains differ markedly from their commercial counterparts. In order to ensure that the analytical formulations provide a meaningful depiction of humanitarian logistics, the paper suggest to incorporate the social costs of suffering in the objective function, and to use economic valuation to estimate these costs. Using basic formulations and numerical examples, this paper shows that when humanitarian logistic strategies do not consider social costs, human suffering is not minimized, far from it, as the social costs are significant. Furthermore, the paper shows that traditional methods based on pre-defined levels of service and penalties for unmet demands are arbitrary in nature and likely to lead to either unfeasible or suboptimal solutions.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20 p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01158429
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3413
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:43AM