The Role of Intermodal Transportation in Humanitarian Supply Chains
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The Role of Intermodal Transportation in Humanitarian Supply Chains

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  • English

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      After a nature or human‐made disaster, effective and efficient disaster relief support is needed. People affected by disasters should be moved away from affected areas and staff and disaster relief supplies need to be moved to destinations in time. The movement of personnel and supplies is completed by disaster relief supply chains, which directly affect the performance of humanitarian aid. Utilizing appropriate transportation modes in the relief chain is critical to effective relief operations. The main objective of this study is to identify the role and impact of intermodal transportation on the performance of response and recovery operations following a disaster. This objective will be achieved by pursuing two specific aims: 1. Identify and assess the current response operations. Determine how (if at all) and why humanitarian organizations utilize different modes of transportation to move the goods and personnel effectively and efficiently in responding to and recovering from a disaster. 2. Identify factors that will potentially improve the attractiveness of using intermodal transportation. To achieve the aims two rounds of interview were firstly conducted, and then a large scale online survey was designed and distributed. The data was analyzed to draw conclusions that can fulfill the aims. It was found that intermodal transportation is not frequently used in disaster relief. Decision makers in disaster relief agencies consider multiple factors when choosing transportation modes. Among the factors, travel distance is mostly considered regardless of whether supplies or people are being transported. Finally, the organizations that cover larger areas and preposition supplies in their relief operations tend to use intermodal transportation more frequently.
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