Optimization of humanitarian relief supply chain reliability: a case study of the Ya’an earthquake

  • Jihai Zhang
  • Zhile Wang
  • Fan Ren
S.I.: Applications of OR in Disaster Relief Operations, Part II


This article seeks to propose a mathematical method to optimize the reliability of the humanitarian relief supply chain. Reliability and cost are both important in response to the disasters. To optimize the reliability of humanitarian relief supply chain and to find a trade-off between the reliability and cost, this article establishes a reliability integrated optimization model for the humanitarian relief supply chain and investigates the methods for optimizing the coordination between flow quantity and unit reliability, optimizes the allocation of reliability for each unit, to optimize the total reliability and cost of the humanitarian relief supply chain. To make the results of this article more applicable, this article applies a case study of the Ya’an earthquake to the built model and subsequently proves the related conclusions subsequently. These theoretical results can be used to improve the disaster operations efficiency of the humanitarian relief supply in the crisis state, achieve a win–win situation between the total reliability and cost.


Supply chain Optimization model Humanitarian relief Reliability 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 71473015.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina

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