Balancing time and costs - where to locate relief distribution centers after disasters?

This paper investigates how we can support humanitarian decision-makers to locate distribution centers to deliver relief items to beneficiaries timely and efficiently.

Balancing time and costs - where to locate relief distribution centers after disasters?

Where to locate relief distribution centers after disasters

Locating temporary distribution centers in the aftermath of sudden onset disasters, such as earthquakes, is often necessary to facilitate the distribution of critical relief items in affected areas. The relief items may be food packages, clean water, and blankets.This paper investigates how we can support humanitarian decision-makers to locate such centers to deliver relief items to beneficiaries timely and efficiently.

Hossein Baharmand, Tina Comes, Matthieu Lauras 2019. Bi-objective multi-layer location–allocation model for the immediate aftermath of sudden-onset disasters. 
Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review. Vo. 127. July 2019

The article is Open Access. 

Abstract

Locating distribution centers is critical for humanitarians in the immediate aftermath of a sudden-onset disaster. A major challenge lies in balancing the complexity and uncertainty of the problem with time and resource constraints. To address this problem, we propose a location–allocation model that divides the topography of affected areas into multiple layers; considers constrained number and capacity of facilities and fleets; and allows decision-makers to explore trade-offs between response time and logistics costs. To illustrate our theoretical work, we apply the model to a real dataset from the 2015 Nepal earthquake response. For this case, our method results in a considerable reduction of logistics costs.

Postdoctor Hossein BaharmandFirst author Hossein Baharmand