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<ul><li><p>ORIGINAL PAPER</p><p>Review of intermodal freight transportationin humanitarian logistics</p><p>Mustafa Alp Ertem1 &amp; Melike bilir1 &amp; Ayenur ahin Arslan2</p><p>Received: 19 March 2016 /Accepted: 20 January 2017 /Published online: 2 February 2017# The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at</p><p>AbstractPurpose Using intermodal transportation is vital for the deliv-ery of relief supplies when single mode alternative becomesunusable or infeasible. The objective of this paper is to inves-tigate the use of intermodal freight transportation in humani-tarian logistics.Methods This paper first identifies the differences betweenmultimodal and intermodal transportation. Then, we examinethe use of each transportation mode for specific disaster typesand phases. When combinations of transportation modes (i.e.air, road, rail and sea) for intermodal transportation are con-sidered together with different disaster types (e.g. earthquake,flood and famine), the feasible decision space becomes ratherlarge. To explore this decision space, we have reviewed theacademic and practitioner studies as well as severalnon-governmental organizations (NGO) disaster archives.Results From this exploration, we developed a transportationmode/disaster-type combination matrix and a transportationmode/disaster-phase combination matrix. We then discuss ex-amples of real life usage of intermodal transportation in hu-manitarian logistics and share our findings and analyses. Of</p><p>369 academic humanitarian logistics articles, only 20 havementioned transportation mode changes. In practitioner stud-ies, we found a decreasing percentage of the usage of slowermodes (e.g. sea and rail) in the disaster response phase overtime. We were not able to find a significant relationship be-tween a specific transportation mode and a specificdisaster-type or -phase. Road transportation seems to covermost of the disaster operations regardless of the disaster-typeor -phase.Conclusions We can conclude that intermodality and thetransportation unit concept is not being studied extensivelyin humanitarian logistics. Most of the relief organizations donot share transported freight amounts in their reports and thosethat do share transported freight amounts in their reports donot explicitly mention mode changes. We discuss the enablersof and obstacles to the effective use of intermodal transporta-tion in humanitarian logistics and propose future research di-rections. We anticipate that intermodal transportation in hu-manitarian logistics will garner greater research attention andincreased utilization in coming years.</p><p>Keywords Humanitarian logistics . OR in disaster relief .</p><p>Literature review . Freight transportation</p><p>1 Introduction</p><p>The number of natural and man-made disasters has been in-creasing in recent years and these disasters have affectedmanypeople. To prevent the loss of lives and help the victims of adisaster, response times must be minimized. Disaster opera-tions management can be divided into four phases: mitigation,preparedness, response and recovery [1]. In the mitigationphase, a risk analysis of the settlements and public educationis performed. Resource planning and the advance purchase of</p><p>* Mustafa Alp</p><p>Melike</p><p>Ayenur ahin</p><p>1 Department of Industrial Engineering, ankaya University,Yukaryurtu Mahallesi, Mimar Sinan Cad. No: 4,06790 Etimesgut, Ankara, Turkey</p><p>2 Tdemsa Production Planning Department, KadiburhanettinMahallesi Fabrika Cad. No: 12, 58059 Sivas, Turkey</p><p>Eur. Transp. Res. Rev. (2017) 9: 10DOI 10.1007/s12544-017-0226-z</p><p>;domain=pdf</p></li><li><p>supplies is carried out in the preparedness phase. The responsephase includes activities related to needs assessment, resourcemobilization and the transportation of relief aids. Finally, therecovery phase entails the removal of all debris and rebuildingessential infrastructure. After the onset of any disaster, thecurrent situation is assessed, and then resources are mobilizedfor transport to the disaster area. If required, relief aid is alsoprocured and transportation operations are managed. Logisticsoperations are important in the humanitarian relief chain andaccount for around 80% of all disaster relief activities [2].</p><p>Because of the critical importance of speed, especially inthe response phase, many alternatives should be considered todeliver relief items as quickly as possible within the availablebudget and resources. This can be accomplished by the utili-zation of various transportation modes (i.e. road, rail, air andwater), which can increase the range of options for the deci-sion maker. Moreover, using alternative transportation modesdepending on the characteristics of the disaster might be theonly option to reach affected people because of the extent ofdamage to the transportation infrastructure.</p><p>Threemain types of transportation systems are defined in theutilization of multiple transportation modes. Multimodaltransportation refers to passenger or freight transportation froman origin to a destination using two or more transportationmodes. Intermodal transportation is a type of multimodalfreight transportation that uses an intermodal transport unit(ITU) (e.g. container) with no handling of the goods themselvesbetween mode changes. Combined transportation is a type ofmultimodal freight transportation that excludes air transport andwhere most the trip occurs by rail or on waterways with onlythe initial and final legs of the trip occurring on road. The readeris referred to [3] for a compilation of these definitions. It shouldalso be noted here that air and sea transport do not lend them-selves to unimodal (i.e. single-mode) transportation of freight.Air and sea transport are almost always coupled with eitherrail/road transport or both. On the other hand, rail and roadtransport could be used as unimodal and possibly interchange-ably. Choice between rail and road transport depends mostly oneconomic matters and the availability of the required infrastruc-ture (i.e. rail ramp, crane, etc.) and qualified human resource atthe transhipment hubs.</p><p>Humanitarian relief activities are vital, and even a verysmall improvement in the process can yield great impacts onpeoples lives. Thats why academicians and practitioners arecontinuously in search of new methods to improve these ac-tivities, especially in recent years due to the increasing numberof massive disasters. Investigating alternative ways to trans-port relief supplies usingmultiple modes and decreasing trans-portation times by utilizing a transportation unit can yieldremarkable results for the beneficiaries. On the other hand,considering that logistics systems are highly dependent onhuman effort (e.g. drivers, carriers, warehouse employees,etc.) and the disaster environment is subject to change in</p><p>subsequent phases of disaster management, transportation op-erations are inherently difficult to coordinate. If not coordinat-edwisely, the expected advantages of utilizingmultiple modesmay not be obtained. Thus, investigating the use of intermodalfreight transportation in humanitarian logistics, in both re-search and practice, is the main objective of this study.</p><p>The rest of this paper is organized as follows: In the secondsection, we explain our methodology used to find academicstudies and practical usage examples, as well as our strategyfor choosing those to investigate. In section 3, we present ouranalyses of studies in emergency management, humanitarianlogistics and disaster relief distribution, in particular. We thendiscuss the utilization of multiple modes both in academicresearch and real life disasters. In section 4, we analyse ourfindings and suggest future research directions. Finally, wedraw our conclusions in section 5.</p><p>2 Literature review methodology</p><p>In this section, we present our methodologies for identifyingrelevant studies, for selecting some for further examinationand for analysing the features of the relevant studies. We con-sidered both academic and practitioner studies, but the ap-proaches we used to investigate each type differed in severalways.</p><p>2.1 Academic studies</p><p>While the transportation aspect of disaster operations manage-ment is the focus of this paper, it is important to have anoverall perspective of the main topics in this field.We selectedthe seven literature review studies most related to disasteroperations management, humanitarian logistics and transpor-tation in humanitarian logistics, including those by Altay andGreen [1], Galindo and Batta [4], Caunhye et al. [5],Natarajarathinam et al. [6], Apte [7], Anaya-Arenas et al. [8]and de la Torre et al. [9].</p><p>Altay and Green [1] conducted a survey of literature pub-lished between 1980 and 2004 that focused on the use ofoperations research in emergency management. Studies wereanalysed with respect to the phases and disaster types, sugges-tions were made for future research in some of these papersand explanations were given regarding problems in emergen-cy management. Inspired by the work of Altay and Green [1],Galindo and Batta [4] continued their analysis by consideringarticles published between 2005 and 2010, to determinewhether any of the gaps identified by Altay and Green [1]had been addressed in new research efforts. Galindo andBatta [4] compared the new studies with those investigatedby Altay and Green [1], with respect to their methodology,disaster phase and type. Future research directions were alsoupdated in Galindo and Batta [4]. Similarly, Caunhye et al. [5]</p><p>10 Page 2 of 11 Eur. Transp. Res. Rev. (2017) 9: 10</p></li><li><p>studied the role of optimization models in emergency man-agement by classifying the literature into two main catego-riesfacility location and relief distribution.</p><p>In addition to the above three reviews focused on operationsresearch, Natarajarathinam et al. [6] focused on the supply chainmanagement literature in emergencymanagement. In their paper,the authors classified the literature reviewed according to thescale, stage and source of the crisis and made future researchsuggestions in consideration of the gaps identified. Apte [7] com-pared humanitarian logistics with military and commercial logis-tics, and discussed the role of the supply chain during prepara-tion, response phases and relief operations as well as other issuesin humanitarian logistics, including information flow and riskmanagement. Anaya-Arenas et al. [8] and de la Torre et al. [9]specifically surveyed relief item distribution. While the formerpaper gave special attention to the response phase and investigat-ed transportation, location and network design problems, thelatter evaluated resource allocation, needs assessment and uncer-tainty in demand and supply and vehicle routing. Both studiesinvestigated how these issues were handled in the literature andended their papers by recommending future research directions.The reference lists of these seven literature reviews enabled us tocapture a broad range of studies in emergency management andhumanitarian logistics. Table 1 displays the number of studiesreviewed in each article.</p><p>The first and third columns of the table list the names of theseven reviewed studies, and the second and fourth columnsshow the number of articles referenced in each paper reviewed.We captured 726 studies from the reference lists of the sevenliterature review articles and reduced this number to 391 byeliminating poster presentations, white papers, magazine arti-cles and duplicates. Later, we found 29 of them to be irrelevantto emergency management. We categorized the remaining 362studies with respect to several criteria, including their models,methods and disaster phases considered, multimodalityintermodality, transportation modes used, geographical regionand the data sets on which the models were tested.</p><p>These 362 studies include academic articles, book chapters,conference proceedings, M.Sc. theses, Ph.D. dissertations andcase studies. The distribution of these publications by year is</p><p>given in Fig. 1. An ascending slope, especially after the 1990s,indicates the increasing interest in this research area.</p><p>Since these seven literature review articles do not cover allthe literature to date, in addition to the reference lists of thesearticles, we searched three scientific databases (EBSCO, Webof Science and IEEE) to reach multimodal and/or intermodalstudies in humanitarian logistics. By searching the keywordshumanitarian logistics OR emergency management ORemergency transportation AND intermodal transportationOR multimodal transportation OR intermodal freight trans-portation, we found seven recent studies related to multimodaland/or intermodal transportation. Thus, we minimized thechances of missing any studies relevant to our review.</p><p>2.2 State of practice</p><p>Since transportation is vital in humanitarian logistics, applica-tions of intermodal freight transportation in humanitarian lo-gistics in real life situations are of particular interest.Regardless of the existence of academic studies on multimod-al and/or intermodal transportation in humanitarian logistics,we claim that practitioners should already have been benefit-ing from multiple modes when transporting relief supplies.We examined several international and national organizationwebsites and databases to assess the validity of this claim.</p><p>Of the many international humanitarian organizations, wefirst investigated those with large databases. Later, we selectedother major organizations that deliver aid to many places andsome database websites. Besides searching their reportsbothannual and related to specific eventswe also filtered theirdatabases using keywords such as transportation, mode,logistics, and vehicle to capture any information aboutthe volume of relief supplies sent and the type of transporta-tion network used.</p><p>3 Usage of multiple modes in humanitarian logistics</p><p>In this section, we analyse the reviewed studies in detail, pres-ent the findings of practitioner studies and report the results ofthe database search with specific keywords.</p><p>3.1 Academic studies</p><p>Forty of the 362 studies cover issues related to evacuation,while 49 address the distribution of relief supplies. Othermain research topics include facility location, relief itemprepositioning, resource allocation and risk assessment.Evacuation and relief item distribution may be consideredas subtopics of transportation. Figure 2 shows a categoriza-t i on summary o f t h e s e 89 ( i . e . 89 = 40 + 49 )transportation-related articles, which reveals that only 13studies can be considered to address multimodal</p><p>Table 1 Number of studies reached via seven literature review articles</p><p>Review article # of articlesin the referencelist</p><p>Review article # of articles inthe reference list</p><p>Altay andGreen [1]</p><p>151 de la Torreet al. [9]</p><p>58</p><p>Anaya-Arenaset al. [8]</p><p>73 Galindo andBatta [4]</p><p>69</p><p>Apte [7] 168 Natarajarathinamet al. [6]</p><p>133</p><p>Caunhye et al. [5] 74</p><p>Eur. Tr...</p></li></ul>


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