Disaster relief supplies (DRS) play a vital role in natural disaster rescue and relief operations. Often DRS management is initiated and supported by the government, yet the related cost issues have not been fully emphasized. In the face of highly uncertain disaster locations and timing, these supplies are usually prepositioned without proper consumption, which causes enormous waste in practice both economically and environmentally. This chapter highlights the potential to bring the reverse logistics strategies in conventional business practice into DRS management. Incorporating the reverse flow of removed relief items with DRS supply chain management not only benefits in cost reduction and environmental protection, but also enhance the daily management and quality control of DRS. Relying on social trust and efficient marketing network provided by government coordination and international cooperation, the stable quality level and relatively integrated inventories of the removed DRS can achieve economies of scale in the reverse supply chain operations. This chapter aims to develop an understanding of DRS reverse logistics, which energizes the responsible management of DRS for economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Part of the book: Natural Hazards