Purpose – As the intensity of natural disasters increases, there is a need to develop policies and procedures to assist various agencies with moving aid to affected areas. One of the biggest limitations to this process is damage to transportation networks, in particular waterways. To keep waterways safe, aids to navigation (ATONs) are placed in various areas to guide mariners and ships to their final destination. If the ATONs are damaged, then the waterways are left unsafe, making it difficult to move supplies and recover from a disaster. The aim of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of pre‐positioning strategies for port recovery in response to a natural disaster. Design/methodology/approach – A stochastic facility location model is presented to determine where teams and commodities should be pre‐positioned in order to maximize the number of ATONs repaired, given a constraint on response time. The first stage decisions focus on determining the location of resources. The second stage decisions consist of the distribution of supplies and teams to affected areas. Findings – Results show the benefit of pre‐positioning and the value of coordination toward the responsiveness of restoring waterways. Furthermore, the relationship between resources, repair time, and response is characterized. Originality/value – There has been extensive work addressing pre‐positioning as it relates to responding to the needs of populations affected by disasters. However, little has been done to explore pre‐positioning in the context of business recovery from severe weather events.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2013
Keywords: Pre‐positioning; Humanitarian logistics; Port operations; Stochastic optimization; Waterways; Marine navigation; Navigation
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