Large Scale Disruption Risk Management: Comparison of the Humanitarian and Commercial Supply Chain Responses

Alexander Decker, Mark Goh, Andreas Wieland, Robert de Souza

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Humanitarian organizations need to respond to large scale disasters with a very short lead time and operate effectively in very disruptive environments. At the same time, these large scale disruptions are emerging as one of the most pressing issues for commercial supply chains. This development has been well publicised after significant events such as the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Consequently, supply chain managers and researchers have strived to develop risk conscious management practices to build better resilience into the supply chain. This paper therefore seeks to compare the characteristics of a humanitarian supply chain with those of commercial organisations, thus preparing for effective large scale disruption risk management. The authors survey the extant literature on humanitarian supply chains to draw out the similarities and differences between the disaster-response supply chains of humanitarian organisations and selected commercial supply chains. Next, the authors apply system dynamics to simulate and understand the causal loops and yield some performance benchmarks in terms of the disruption impact and costs. They posit that the supply chains for the disaster response operations and commercial purposes differ in terms of the management strategies, adaptive capacity, and supplier relations. By adopting some of the humanitarian supply chain’s features, such as Supplier Framework Agreements and Rapid Assessment Processes, the authors demonstrate an enhancement of the disruption handling capabilities of commercial supply chains. The cross-sectional study of the supply chain of humanitarian organisations can help commercial supply chain managers to improve their disruption risk management practices. This is the first study to analyse the potential for improving the disruption risk management of the commercial supply chain community through learning from humanitarian organizations.
TitelProceedings of the International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports (IFSPA) 2013 : Trade, Supply Chain Activities and Transport: Contemporary Logistics and Maritime Issues
RedaktørerXiaowen Fu, Chung-Lun Li, Meifeng Luo, Adolf K. Y. Ng, Tsz Leung Yip
UdgivelsesstedHong Kong
ForlagHong Kong Polytechnic University
ISBN (Trykt)9789623677677
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedThe 6th International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports. IFSPA 2013 - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Kina
Varighed: 3 jun. 20135 jun. 2013
Konferencens nummer: 6


KonferenceThe 6th International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports. IFSPA 2013
LokationThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University
ByHong Kong


  • Supply Chain risk management
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • System dynamics
  • Disruption risk