A bibliometric analysis of humanitarian logistics


  • Abderahman Rejeb Department of Logistics and Forwarding, Széchenyi István University, 9026 Győr, Hungary
  • Karim Rejeb Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Department of Computer Science, University of Carthage, 7021 Bizerte, Tunisia
  • John G. Keogh Henley Business School, University of Reading, Greenlands, Henley‑on‑Thames RG9 3AU, UK




humanitarian logistics, bibliometric analysis, review, disaster relief management


Recent years have seen a surge in interest in humanitarian logistics (HL) research. This study conducted a bibliometric analysis of 894 HL-related studies. The publications were chosen using a combination of keywords from their titles, abstracts and author-supplied keywords from the leading database Scopus. The publications were classified according to their publication year, country of origin, type of publication, most relevant journals, and most influential authors. The review’s findings indicate that over a four-decade period, HL research progressed through three distinct stages. In terms of national contribution, the United States of America leads with the most studies published on HL. Additionally, the HL literature is advanced primarily through academic journal articles. The Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management is the leading journal in the field, with 148 articles published. The study makes a significant contribution by providing relevant analysis that may inform and guide scholars and researchers as they explore the evolution of HL research and foster networking and collaboration opportunities across multiple institutions.


Download data is not yet available.


S. P. Goffnett, O. Keith Helferich, and E. Buschlen, “Integrating service-learning and humanitarian logistics education,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 161–186, Jan. 2013, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-09-2012-0022

R. M. Tomasini and L. N. V. Wassenhove, “From preparedness to partnerships: case study research on humanitarian logistics,” Int. Trans. Oper. Res., vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 549–559, 2009, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3995.2009.00697.x

A. Şahin, M. Alp Ertem, and E. Emür, “Using containers as storage facilities in humanitarian logistics,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 286–307, Jan. 2014, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-08-2013-0029

T. Ashinaka, M. Kubo, and A. Namatame, “A Decision-Support Tool for Humanitarian Logistics,” in Intelligent and Evolutionary Systems, Cham, 2016, pp. 293–304. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27000-5_24

B. Vitoriano, “Humanitarian Logistics,” in Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction & Management, 0 vols., WORLD SCIENTIFIC, 2016, pp. 745–772. https://doi.org/10.1142/9789813207950_0031

A. Apte, Humanitarian Logistics: A New Field of Research and Action. Now Publishers Inc, 2010.

B. Balcik and B. M. Beamon, “Facility location in humanitarian relief,” Int. J. Logist. Res. Appl., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 101–121, Apr. 2008, https://doi.org/10.1080/13675560701561789

G. Kovács and K. M. Spens, “Humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations,” Int. J. Phys. Distrib. Logist. Manag., vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 99–114, Jan. 2007, https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030710734820

R. Oloruntoba and R. Gray, “Humanitarian aid: an agile supply chain?,” Supply Chain Manag. Int. J., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 115–120, Jan. 2006, https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540610652492

M. Aghajani and S. A. Torabi, “A mixed procurement model for humanitarian relief chains,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 45–74, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-10-2018-0067

M. Ahmadi, A. Seifi, and B. Tootooni, “A humanitarian logistics model for disaster relief operation considering network failure and standard relief time: A case study on San Francisco district,” Transp. Res. Part E Logist. Transp. Rev., vol. 75, pp. 145–163, Mar. 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tre.2015.01.008

A. Behl and P. Dutta, “Social and financial aid for disaster relief operations using CSR and crowdfunding: Moderating effect of information quality,” Benchmarking Int. J., vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 732–759, Oct. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-08-2019-0372

M. Sharifi-Sedeh, A. Ardalan, S.-A. Torabi, and D. Khorasani-Zavareh, “Factors behind the prepositioning of relief items in Iran: A qualitative study,” Injury, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 906–912, Apr. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2020.02.08

S. Fosso Wamba, “Humanitarian supply chain: a bibliometric analysis and future research directions,” Ann. Oper. Res., Apr. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-020-03594-9

B. Zary, R. Bandeira, and V. Campos, “The Contribution of Scientific Productions at the Beginning of the Third Millennium (2001 – 2014) for Humanitarian Logistics: A Bibliometric Analysis,” Transp. Res. Procedia, vol. C, no. 3, pp. 537–546, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trpro.2014.10.002

S. Bag, “Humanitarian supply chain management: a bibliometric analysis of the literature,” AIMS Int. J. Manag., vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 175–202, 2016.

P. Wanjantuk and R. Banomyong, “Bibliometric mapping of humanitarian logistics research,” 2017.

R. M. S. Nunes and S. C. F. Pereira, “Mapping of Humanitarian Operations Literature: A Bibliometric Approach,” in Operations Management for Social Good, Cham, 2020, pp. 351–360. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23816-2_34

M. Lauras, J. Vargas, L. Dupont, and A. Charles, “A Location-Allocation Model for More Consistent Humanitarian Supply Chains,” in Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management in Mediterranean Countries, Cham, 2014, pp. 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-11818-5_1

J. Chandes and G. Paché, “Investigating humanitarian logistics issues: from operations management to strategic action,” J. Manuf. Technol. Manag., vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 320–340, Jan. 2010, https://doi.org/10.1108/17410381011024313

D. K. Yadav and A. Barve, “Analysis of critical success factors of humanitarian supply chain: an application of Interpretive Structural Modeling,” Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct., vol. 12, pp. 213–225, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.01.008

M. Morales and D. E. Sandlin, “Managing airborne relief during international disasters,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 12–34, Jan. 2015, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-01-2014-0008

A. S. Thomas and L. R. Kopczak, “From logistics to supply chain management: the path forward in the humanitarian sector.,” Fritz Inst., vol. 15, pp. 1–15, 2005.

S. Kimiagari and B. Montreuil, “Hybrid modeling approach to market deployment planning: an application to a natural disaster relief supply business venture,” Int. J. Prod. Res., vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 1675–1707, Feb. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2017.1359425

A. K. Bardhan and H. K. Dangi, “Drivers and Indicators of Performance in Relief Chain: An Empirical Study,” Glob. Bus. Rev., vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 88–104, Feb. 2016, https://doi.org/10.1177/0972150915610693

D. A. McEntire and A. Myers, “Preparing communities for disasters: issues and processes for government readiness,” Disaster Prev. Manag. Int. J., vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 140–152, Jan. 2004, https://doi.org/10.1108/09653560410534289

S. Gunessee, N. Subramanian, S. Roscoe, and J. Ramanathan, “The social preferences of local citizens and spontaneous volunteerism during disaster relief operations,” Int. J. Prod. Res., vol. 56, no. 21, pp. 6793–6808, Nov. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2017.1414330

S. Fathalikhani, A. Hafezalkotob, and R. Soltani, “Government intervention on cooperation, competition, and coopetition of humanitarian supply chains,” Socioecon. Plann. Sci., vol. 69, no. C, 2020, Accessed: Oct. 05, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://econpapers.repec.org/article/eeesoceps/v_3a69_3ay_3a2020_3ai_3ac_3as0038012118303288.htm

R. N. Garge, H. Ha, and S. Khoo, “Disaster Risk Management and the Role of the Armed Forces: Critical Analysis of Reactive Disaster Management in India,” in Strategic Disaster Risk Management in Asia, H. Ha, R. L. S. Fernando, and A. Mahmood, Eds. New Delhi: Springer India, 2015, pp. 49–67. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-2373-3_5

L. John and A. Ramesh, “Humanitarian supply chain management in India: a SAP‐LAP framework,” J. Adv. Manag. Res., vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 217–235, Jan. 2012, https://doi.org/10.1108/09727981211271968

E. Cohen, “Tourism and Land Grab in the Aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami,” Scand. J. Hosp. Tour., vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 224–236, Oct. 2011, https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2011.593359

G.-L. Luo, “A research and defects analysis of the disaster relief system of China,” J. Risk Res., vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 383–404, Mar. 2014, https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2013.815651

M. Sheller, “The islanding effect: post-disaster mobility systems and humanitarian logistics in Haiti,” Cult. Geogr., vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 185–204, Apr. 2013, https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474012438828

A. Cozzolino, “Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management,” in Humanitarian Logistics: Cross-Sector Cooperation in Disaster Relief Management, A. Cozzolino, Ed. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2012, pp. 5–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-30186-5_2

R. Dubey and A. Gunasekaran, “The sustainable humanitarian supply chain design: agility, adaptability and alignment,” Int. J. Logist. Res. Appl., vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 62–82, Jan. 2016, https://doi.org/10.1080/13675567.2015.1015511

M. J. V. Rooyen, J. C. Strickler, R. Brennan, and P. G. Greenough, “Challenges of Humanitarian Health Response to Disasters and Crises,” Prehospital Disaster Med., vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 349–350, Oct. 2007, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X00005045

N. G. Campos and P. Farmer, “Partners: Discernment and Humanitarian Efforts in Settings of Violence,” J. Law. Med. Ethics, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 506–515, Dec. 2003, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-720X.2003.tb00118.x

M. Hunt et al., “Moral experiences of humanitarian health professionals caring for patients who are dying or likely to die in a humanitarian crisis,” J. Int. Humanit. Action, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 12, Sep. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1186/s41018-018-0040-9

S. A. Adem, P. Childerhouse, T. Egbelakin, and B. Wang, “International and local NGO supply chain collaboration: An investigation of the Syrian refugee crises in Jordan,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 295–322, Jan. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-05-2017-0020

L. N. V. Wassenhove and A. J. P. Martinez, “Using OR to adapt supply chain management best practices to humanitarian logistics,” Int. Trans. Oper. Res., vol. 19, no. 1–2, pp. 307–322, 2012, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3995.2010.00792.x

M. F. N. Maghfiroh and S. Hanaoka, “Last mile distribution in humanitarian logistics under stochastic and dynamic consideration,” in 2017 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), Dec. 2017, pp. 1411–1415. https://doi.org/10.1109/IEEM.2017.8290125

F. S. Lima, D. de Oliveira, M. B. Gonçalves, and M. M. A. Samed, “Humanitarian Logistics: a Clustering Methodology for Assisting Humanitarian Operations,” J. Technol. Manag. Innov., vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 86–97, 2014, Accessed: Oct. 05, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4936455

J.-D. Hong and K.-Y. Jeong, “Goal programming and data envelopment analysis approach to disaster relief supply chain design,” Int. J. Logist. Syst. Manag., vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 291–321, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1504/IJLSM.2019.101158

R. D. Swanson and R. J. Smith, “A Path to a Public–Private Partnership: Commercial Logistics Concepts Applied to Disaster Response,” J. Bus. Logist., vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 335–346, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1111/jbl.12031

A. M. Eikenberry, V. Arroyave, and T. Cooper, “Administrative Failure and the International NGO Response to Hurricane Katrina,” Public Adm. Rev., vol. 67, no. s1, pp. 160–170, 2007, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00825.x

K. H. Goldschmidt and S. Kumar, “Humanitarian operations and crisis/disaster management: A retrospective review of the literature and framework for development,” Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct., vol. 20, pp. 1–13, Dec. 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.10.001

A. Pritchard, “Statistical Bibliography or Bibliometrics,” J. Doc., vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 348–349, 1969.

R. N. Broadus, “Toward a definition of ‘bibliometrics,’” Scientometrics, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 373–379, Nov. 1987, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02016680

H. Small, “Co-citation in the scientific literature: A new measure of the relationship between two documents,” J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 265–269, 1973, https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.4630240406

S. Raghuram, P. Tuertscher, and R. Garud, “Research Note—Mapping the Field of Virtual Work: A Cocitation Analysis,” Inf. Syst. Res., vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 983–999, Dec. 2010, https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1080.0227

T. L. Milfont, K. Amirbagheri, E. Hermanns, and J. M. Merigó, “Celebrating Half a Century of Environment and Behavior: A Bibliometric Review,” Environ. Behav., vol. 51, no. 5, pp. 469–501, Jun. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916519843126

H. Davarzani, B. Fahimnia, M. Bell, and J. Sarkis, “Greening ports and maritime logistics: A review,” Transp. Res. Part Transp. Environ., vol. C, no. 48, pp. 473–487, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2015.07.007

D. Chicksand, G. Watson, H. Walker, Z. Radnor, and R. Johnston, “Theoretical perspectives in purchasing and supply chain management: an analysis of the literature,” Supply Chain Manag. Int. J., vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 454–472, Jan. 2012, https://doi.org/10.1108/13598541211246611

S. H. Zyoud and D. Fuchs-Hanusch, “Estimates of Arab world research productivity associated with groundwater: a bibliometric analysis,” Appl. Water Sci., vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1255–1272, Jun. 2017, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13201-016-0520-2

B. Dinić and T. Jevremov, “Trends in research related to the Dark Triad: A bibliometric analysis,” Curr. Psychol., vol. 2019, pp. 1–10, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00250-9

R. Vatananan-Thesenvitz, A.-A. Schaller, and R. Shannon, “A Bibliometric Review of the Knowledge Base for Innovation in Sustainable Development,” Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 20, Art. no. 20, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205783

N. P. Nagendra, G. Narayanamurthy, and R. Moser, “Management of humanitarian relief operations using satellite big data analytics: the case of Kerala floods,” Ann. Oper. Res., Apr. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-020-03593-w

P. Sharma and A. Joshi, “Challenges of using big data for humanitarian relief: lessons from the literature,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 423–446, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-05-2018-0031

M. Khan, S. Imtiaz, G. S. Parvaiz, A. Hussain, and J. Bae, “Integration of Internet-of-Things With Blockchain Technology to Enhance Humanitarian Logistics Performance,” IEEE Access, vol. 9, pp. 25422–25436, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3054771

I. G. Sahebi, B. Masoomi, and S. Ghorbani, “Expert oriented approach for analyzing the blockchain adoption barriers in humanitarian supply chain,” Technol. Soc., vol. 63, p. 101427, Nov. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2020.101427

A. Rejeb, K. Rejeb, S. Simske, and H. Treiblmaier, “Humanitarian Drones: A Review and Research Agenda,” Internet Things, vol. 16, p. 100434, Dec. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iot.2021.100434

A. Rejeb, K. Rejeb, S. J. Simske, and H. Treiblmaier, “Drones for supply chain management and logistics: a review and research agenda,” Int. J. Logist. Res. Appl., vol. 0, no. 0, pp. 1–24, Sep. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1080/13675567.2021.1981273

O. Rodríguez-Espíndola, S. Chowdhury, A. Beltagui, and P. Albores, “The potential of emergent disruptive technologies for humanitarian supply chains: the integration of blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing,” Int. J. Prod. Res., vol. 58, no. 15, pp. 4610–4630, Aug. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2020.1761565

M. Zhao and X. Liu, “Development of decision support tool for optimizing urban emergency rescue facility locations to improve humanitarian logistics management,” Saf. Sci., vol. 102, pp. 110–117, Feb. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2017.10.007

N. Bhuvana and I. Arul Aram, “Facebook and Whatsapp as disaster management tools during the Chennai (India) floods of 2015,” Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct., vol. 39, p. 101135, Oct. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101135

P. M. Landwehr, W. Wei, M. Kowalchuck, and K. M. Carley, “Using tweets to support disaster planning, warning and response,” Saf. Sci., vol. 90, pp. 33–47, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2016.04.012

D. Sarma, A. Das, and U. K. Bera, “Uncertain demand estimation with optimization of time and cost using Facebook disaster map in emergency relief operation,” Appl. Soft Comput., vol. 87, p. 105992, Feb. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2019.105992

S. Gupta, N. Altay, and Z. Luo, “Big data in humanitarian supply chain management: a review and further research directions,” Ann. Oper. Res., vol. 283, no. 1, pp. 1153–1173, Dec. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-017-2671-4

R. Dubey et al., “Big data analytics and organizational culture as complements to swift trust and collaborative performance in the humanitarian supply chain,” Int. J. Prod. Econ., vol. 210, pp. 120–136, Apr. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2019.01.023

P. Tatham, J. Loy, and U. Peretti, “Three dimensional printing – a key tool for the humanitarian logistician?,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 188–208, Jan. 2015, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-01-2014-0006

B. L. Savonen, T. J. Mahan, M. W. Curtis, J. W. Schreier, J. K. Gershenson, and J. M. Pearce, “Development of a Resilient 3-D Printer for Humanitarian Crisis Response,” Technologies, vol. 6, no. 1, Art. no. 1, Mar. 2018, https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010030

G. Kovacs, M. Moshtari, H. Kachali, and P. Polsa, “Research methods in humanitarian logistics,” J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag., vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 325–331, Jan. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-12-2019-082




How to Cite

Rejeb, A., Rejeb, K., & Keogh, J. G. (2022). A bibliometric analysis of humanitarian logistics. Acta Technica Jaurinensis, 15(2), 74–90. https://doi.org/10.14513/actatechjaur.00647