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EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics 1, 1-2 (2012) 185-196
Transportation and vehicle fleet management in humanitarian logistics have characteristics almost entirely unexplored by operations research (OR) researchers. This paper provides evidence-based insights into the logistics challenges imposed by the dual objective of relief and development, decentralization, earmarked funding, and field operating conditions. The authors discuss why these characteristics help explain the persistence of aging fleets, excessive fleet sizes, low fleet standardization, and service delays, problems humanitarian fleet managers fight on a daily basis to improve service levels. Avenues for future research are proposed to address strategic, tactical, and operational challenges derived from the defining characteristics of humanitarian logistics discussed in the paper.