Publication: Logistics Chain Management for Emergency Supplies

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Okumura, Makoto
In response to the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) disaster, relief goods were distributed and delivered through prefectural- and municipal-level depots. This delivery system faced several problems including fuel shortages, interruption of telecommunication services, and supply and demand mismatches, resulting in stockpiling of the goods in depots and delayed delivery to the people in need. Several measures can be taken to address these issues, including prior surveys of depot facilities, estimating in advance the quantities of emergency goods that will be required, enlisting the support of professional logistics specialists, and promoting logistics information management in unaffected areas, among others. Delivery of relief goods was planned to be executed through depots at two levels-prefectural and municipal. Especially in the first two weeks, fuel shortages made downstream deliveries from prefectural depots very difficult. Also, manpower shortages and the inconvenient building specifications of depots were the main causes of unnecessary stockpiling in depots. Delivering several kinds of goods, such as food, drinking water, clothing, and bedding, either to people's homes or to more than 2,000 shelters, was a challenge, especially in the first several weeks when fuel was in short supply. By the end of June, 1,800, 1,400, and 2,400 trucks were dedicated to transporting goods from prefectural depots to municipal depots in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, respectively.
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Okumura, Makoto. 2012. Logistics Chain Management for Emergency Supplies. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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