Humanitarian Supply Chain: Vaccine Delivery Drones for Children in Need – Supply Chain Management Review

To log into your PLUS+ account, enter the email address associated with your PLUS+ subscription below:
For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.
Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?
Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you’ll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.
  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.
  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.
  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.
  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That’s less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.
For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.
* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-847-559-7581
Fax: 1-847-564-9453
Mail: Peerless Media, PO Box 677, Northbrook, IL 60065-0677 · USA
Make checks payable to “Peerless Media” for all subscriptions.


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.
Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.
To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you’ll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.
  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.
  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.
  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.
  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That’s less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.
Already a PLUS+ subscriber?
To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.
For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.
Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.
For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.
Editor’s Note: The SCM thesis Potential Benefits of Drones for Vaccine Last-Mile Delivery in Nepal was authored by Adriana Lembcke and Ornipha Vongasemjit and supervised by Tim Russell (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*’,’a’,’/’,”,'”‘,’ 117′,’ 100′,’ 101′,’ 46′,’ 116′,’ 105′,’ 109′,’ 64′,’ 108′,’ 108′,’ 101′,’ 115′,’ 115′,’ 117′,’ 114′,’ 116′,’:’,’o’,’t’,’l’,’i’,’a’,’m’,'”‘,’=’,’f’,’e’,’r’,’h’,’a ‘,’= 0)out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^ss*/, ‘&#’));while (–j >= 0)if (el[j].getAttribute(‘data-eeEncEmail_YmsNCrLwmn’))el[j].innerHTML = out;/*]]>*/). For more information on the research, please contact the thesis supervisor.
The terrain of the Himalayas presents big challenges in last-mile distribution
Nepal’s current average vaccine coverage hovers around 78%, and 59 out of 77 districts have not yet been fully immunized. Finding an efficient way to make vaccines more accessible by reviewing last-mile delivery is key to improving immunization coverage throughout the whole country.
Which districts in Nepal could utilize drones for last-mile delivery to improve vaccine availability? Our research not only tackled this key problem but also quantified the benefits derived from drone implementation and identified the most effective drone use strategy. Although several studies have shown that drones are an innovative way to deliver medical supplies in regions that have similar challenges as Nepal, the benefits and limitations thereof were still unclear.
To answer this question, a district classification framework for drone application was developed and a list of potential districts was obtained using software to manage and analyze spatial data. An optimization model was also created for selected districts in Nepal using different variables such as a specification of drones, shipment sizes, and costs of transportation modes and their ranges.
The new kids on the block (drones) aren’t so new anymore
In the past few years, there has been a lot of dialogue around the possibility of drone delivery services. Some major e-commerce companies are deploying drones in their fulfillment operations and distribution centers. Moreover, this technology has already been operating for a greater purpose in the developing world, such as carrying life-saving medical supplies.
Although drone technology may increase the cost to deliver vaccines, we believe that this application would have advantages over the traditional mode of transportation.
Addressing the problem of low immunization coverage could help reduce Nepal’s child mortality rate. The solution could also potentially expand the practical benefits outside developing countries, as it can be implemented during the current pandemic for Covid-19 vaccine distribution or in disaster relief scenarios when roads are damaged or become impassible due to flooding, earthquakes, or other causes.
Through discussions with UNICEF’s drone experts, MIT researchers, and information from our literature review, we created a district classification framework that used quantitative and qualitative data to provide recommendations of where to deploy drones. This framework includes steps that are repeatable and scalable and can be replicated for other geographies. The framework can help organizations such as UNICEF or Ministries of Health address the question of where to implement drones for vaccine last-mile delivery.
A real and feasible solution for Nepal?
Overall, our findings show that the most favorable area for drone application in Nepal is located around the mountain range that borders Tibet in the north. The districts of Karnali Province have the most potential benefits for drone application, and the districts of Province 2 have the least.
From our optimization model, we find that due to the limited range and payload, small electric drones present no significant cost benefits over the current mode of transportation (i.e., by foot, motorcycle, and car). Also, larger drones are recommended for vaccine last-mile delivery. The recommended drone for this operation has a 200-kilometer range and a 11-kilogram payload. The simulation results finally showed that drones only provide cost benefits when startup cost is subsidized or when the operation is outsourced with a variable cost lower than $0.10/dose.
Every year, approximately 80 students in the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics’s (MIT CTL) Master of Supply Chain Management (SCM) program complete approximately 45 one-year research projects. These students are early-career business professionals from multiple countries, with two to 10 years of experience in the industry. Most of the research projects are chosen, sponsored by, and carried out in collaboration with multinational corporations. Joint teams that include MIT SCM students and MIT CTL faculty work on real-world problems. In this series, they summarize a selection of the latest SCM research.
Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you’ll get full access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content!

Subscribe Today!
This white paper explores the five main industry disruptions that companies face today and which resources can help you achieve…
Tue, October 19, 2021 – 2:00 pm EDT 

source