Optimization models in emergency logistics: A literature review

Aakil M. Caunhye, Xiaofeng Nie*, Shaligram Pokharel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Optimization modeling has become a powerful tool to tackle emergency logistics problems since its first adoption in maritime disaster situations in the 1970s. Using techniques of content analysis, this paper reviews optimization models utilized in emergency logistics. Disaster operations can be performed before or after disaster occurrence. Short-notice evacuation, facility location, and stock pre-positioning are drafted as the main pre-disaster operations, while relief distribution and casualty transportation are categorized as post-disaster operations. According to these operations, works in the literature are broken down into three parts: facility location, relief distribution and casualty transportation, and other operations. For the first two parts, the literature is structured and analyzed based on the model types, decisions, objectives, and constraints. Finally, through the content analysis framework, several research gaps are identified and future research directions are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
Number of pages10
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date30 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • emergency logistics
  • modeling
  • operations
  • optimization

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