Inaugural lecture of newly appointed professors: Same Ball, Different Game: ...

On October 24th, 2012 Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou, Assistant Professor of Logistics, will give a lecture on the topic "Same Ball, Different Game: Humanitarian Logistics vs Commercial Logistics". The lecture is open to the public. Space is limited, so please register ahead of time.

Past event — 24 October 2012

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Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou

Professor of Humanitarian Logistics & Dean of Research

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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Indian Ocean tsunami, Afghanistan, Darfur, Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami… These were just a few examples of disasters that took place during the last 8 years. According to the international disaster database every year 400 disasters occur on average, killing around 75.000 people and affecting some 200 million people. The frequency and impact of disasters is rising, increasing dramatically the need for humanitarian action. At the same time humanitarian organizations face serious challenges to deliver the right goods and services to the right people at the right time and cost.
Humanitarian logistics is an emerging field of operations management research. In my inaugural lecture, I will focus on transportation in international humanitarian organizations (IHO) and the challenges that it faces differentiating it from commercial logistics. Transportation is the second largest overhead cost to international humanitarian organizations after personnel. IHO often implement relief and development programs simultaneously. With headquarters in Europe or USA and programs (operations) in developing countries, IHO are frequently decentralized. Moreover, IHO program delivery is funded by donors and funding is typically earmarked for specific programs. 
My talk studies the IHO dual mission of relief and development in stochastic operations with different levels of earmarked funding. Focusing on metrics of equity and efficiency I find that even if in commercial logistics decentralization decreases the lead time and improves the service level, in humanitarian logistics it is not the same. In particular, due to the interaction of dual mission and earmarked funding, a decentralized system with local procurement and a short lead time may consistently take longer to supply transportation for disaster response than a centralized system with global procurement and high lead time.
More information about Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou

To register please send an email to: beate.linnenberg(at)

The Lecture Series

The KLU Lecture Series is a forum for scientists and practitioners to talk and discuss on state-of-the art topics related loosely to logistics and entrepreneurship.