ICHL 2013 International Conference on Humanitarian Logistics CHALLENGES TO HUMANITARIAN LOGISTICS Presented by: Dr. Jitendra K. Sharma and Dr. AnantGwal Acropolis Faculty of Management & Research Indore
What is humanitarian logistics? Disasters can be natural or manmade. Humanitarian logistics is a specialized form of logistics that delves into supply warehousing and delivery in disasters. It is a process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow and storage of goods as well as information from point of origin to point of consumption to meet the beneficiary's requirements (Thomas and Mizushima, 2005). It talks about arranging the resources related to delivery and warehouse the rescue material and supplies..
Humanitarian Logistics The ultimate objective of humanitarian logistics is to ensure distribution time minimization along with cost minimization and response maximization. The role of humanitarian logistics is tough to measure since there are many limitations related to natural issues like- geographical situations, weather conditions or other factors like- odd working environment. This paper is a study of existing literature and a comprehensive model of humanitarian logistics has been proposed by authors..
Study of Literature: • As per Balcikand Beamon (2008), challenges to humanitarian logistics include demand irregularity, abrupt occurrences and high stakes related to delivery time appropriateness. • As per a study by Whiting and Ostrom (2009), the focus of humanitarian logistics should be more on providing and analyzing timely information to gain more insight on how to improve operations and learning with others. • With the instance of Tsunami disaster of 2004, the authors put their focus on planning of relief activities. Often humanitarian logistics people fail to anticipate some bottlenecks that may cause problems to them..
Study of Literature: • According to Trestrail and Maloni (2009), humanitarian logistics has a crucial role to manage disasters worldwide. It is more difficult than ordinary logistics because of human factors. People behind humanitarian logistics have to face infrastructural challenges and seasonal issues. • Kovács and Tatham (2009) found that humanitarian logistics is a combination of service and manufacturing. It is a service since it offers direct support to the people engaged in assisting the disaster affected populations. It is manufacturing since the delivery process needs material and technological resources in transportation, handling and warehousing of the products..
Study of Literature: • Jahre and Jensen (2010) studied the coordination in humanitarian logistics. They suggested use of clusters for diverse functions like- sheltering, logistics along with water and sanitation to achieve functional coordination. • According to Chandesand Paché (2010) humanitarian logistics operations are hampered by lack of coordination between people. • Baldini et al., (2012) concluded that humanitarian logistics are quite different from business logistics in terms of operational requirements, resources and user needs. Use of technology can facilitate the coordination among the units. So, supply chain used in resolution of emergency crises must be flexible to respond to challenges..
Conclusion: • Humanitarian logistics is a complex activity of providing relief to people at the time of disasters. • In other words, it is the management of logistics in disaster relief operations. • Due to many challenges cited like- coordination of the logistical activities, demand irregularity along with abrupt occurrences, high stakes related to delivery time appropriateness, poor infrastructure and seasonal constraints, the task of humanitarian logisticians have become more complex..
PPT model of Humanitarian Logistics • The results of literature study have paved way to a model of humanitarian logistics. • The authors have developed an indigenous model known as PPT model to ensure effectiveness of humanitarian logistics. • This model views humanitarian logistics as a comprehensive process having three components i.e. People, Process and Technology; therefore it is known as PPT model. • This trinity determines the success of humanitarian logistics initiatives.. Lets see how:
The PPT model of Humanitarian Logistics: The triangle represents never-ending relationship between the components.
Components of PPT model: 1. People: The most significant component. It includes all personnel in humanitarian logistics activity. The human aspect in such makes it more sensitive since it is directly related to lives of people. Smooth coordination between the teams results into effective results. With examples from Japan earthquakes, it can be said that coordination and communication facilitates better outcomes..
Components of PPT model: 2. Processes: It includes processes and guidelines to facilitate smooth implementation of action plan. A carefully considered action plan smoothens right implementation of logistics. Along with planned steps, one should be ready with contingent approach, where solution has to be sought based on situation. At times, when pre-planned course of actions fail, it is the contingency approach, which solves the problems..
Components of PPT model: 3. Technology: Technology forms the means of achieving the end. The use of radio frequency identification has been common application, which enhances rapid results. This is specially helpful in infrastructure bottlenecks and helps towards improving and tracing the supply chain management. Radio waves facilitate effective tracking at the time of disasters. Japan has been pioneer towards using such systems. Lets see India in terms of humanitarian logistics issues:
Two recent disasters in India: • Kedarnath[June 2013] and Phailin [October 2013]. • In June 2013, a cloudburst on Uttarakhand caused disturbing floods and landslides in India’s worst natural disaster after the 2004 Tsunami. • There was warning generated, but tourists were not sent SMS alerts. In fact, there was no tourist database. • The flow of tourists & vehicles in the hills could have been halted. But it was ignored. • There were no satellite phones in remote areas. • The Army was called in 48 hours after the tragedy. • Many people died of starvation, hunger, thirst, cold and injuries. • Result: More than 5,700 people died, including 934 local residents..
In October 2013, Phailin cyclone attacked Odisha. • When the first warning signal came, 600 buildings were identified as cyclone shelters and people were evacuated from areas near the coast. • TV, radio, mobile were activated for alerts. It was India's biggest evacuation where more than 11 lakhpeople were moved from the coast line to safer places. • State government issued high alert and cancelled Dusshera holidays of employees of all districts. • Food packets for more than 10 lakhpeople for 1 week were prepared in advance. • The Chief Minister asked Union Defence Minister for support from Air Force and Navy for rescue and relief operations. 44 lives could not be saved..
These two cases show humanitarian logistics management approaches. In Uttarakhand tragedy, lack of coordination led to failure. While in Odisha, people, process & technology were activated and disaster was managed successfully. This PPT model would ensure better results for all concerned, if implemented properly. Finally, the success of the humanitarian logistics operations would depend on the way the challenges are converted into opportunities..