Purpose – Whilst implementation of a broad range of reverse logistics (RL) practices is increasingly the norm within commercial supply chain management, they have had limited impact in the humanitarian logistics (HL) sector. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the challenges and opportunities for the application of RL in a HL context. Design/methodology/approach – Through a broad review of both the academic and practitioner literature, supplemented by informal discussions with senior humanitarian logisticians, the paper summarises the current state of RL within the HL sector before recommending ways in which practices that are increasingly found in a commercial context could be implemented. Findings – The findings indicate that, to date, the use of commercial RL practices is extremely limited within the HL sector, but there are a number of areas where their introduction be possible in the future. Research limitations/implications – Whilst the reviews of the literature were comprehensive, further and more detailed research into the RL practices (if any) undertaken by aid agencies needs to be undertaken in order that appropriate lessons and experiences can be implemented across the sector as a whole. Practical implications – Given the overall desire of humanitarian agencies to “do no harm” it will be increasingly important for such organisations to embrace RL practices in order to improve the sustainability of their disaster preparation and response activities. Social implications – In light of the generally increased awareness of the need to reduce the environmental footprint as well as improving the social and economic impacts of their supply chain activities, there is likely to be increasing pressure on aid agencies to adopt RL practices. This paper identifies some of the potential areas in which this can be undertaken, and the associated barriers to be overcome. Originality/value – To date, it would appear that no academic research has been undertaken into the RL practices within the HL sector. To this extent, the research represents a first look at a new sub-topic within the overall HL field.

Reverse logistics in humanitarian operations: challenges and opportunities

PERETTI, UMBERTO;SGARBOSSA, FABIO
2015

Abstract

Purpose – Whilst implementation of a broad range of reverse logistics (RL) practices is increasingly the norm within commercial supply chain management, they have had limited impact in the humanitarian logistics (HL) sector. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the challenges and opportunities for the application of RL in a HL context. Design/methodology/approach – Through a broad review of both the academic and practitioner literature, supplemented by informal discussions with senior humanitarian logisticians, the paper summarises the current state of RL within the HL sector before recommending ways in which practices that are increasingly found in a commercial context could be implemented. Findings – The findings indicate that, to date, the use of commercial RL practices is extremely limited within the HL sector, but there are a number of areas where their introduction be possible in the future. Research limitations/implications – Whilst the reviews of the literature were comprehensive, further and more detailed research into the RL practices (if any) undertaken by aid agencies needs to be undertaken in order that appropriate lessons and experiences can be implemented across the sector as a whole. Practical implications – Given the overall desire of humanitarian agencies to “do no harm” it will be increasingly important for such organisations to embrace RL practices in order to improve the sustainability of their disaster preparation and response activities. Social implications – In light of the generally increased awareness of the need to reduce the environmental footprint as well as improving the social and economic impacts of their supply chain activities, there is likely to be increasing pressure on aid agencies to adopt RL practices. This paper identifies some of the potential areas in which this can be undertaken, and the associated barriers to be overcome. Originality/value – To date, it would appear that no academic research has been undertaken into the RL practices within the HL sector. To this extent, the research represents a first look at a new sub-topic within the overall HL field.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3188404
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