• Hanken School of Economics logo

Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics

Understand the fundamentals of humanitarian logistics and discover supply chain management in a humanitarian context.

4,529 enrolled on this course

Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics

4,529 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn how to manage the logistics of providing humanitarian relief

Whether it’s people suffering, goods needing to be delivered, reduced communications infrastructures, or major disruption of physical infrastructure, humanitarian organisations work by providing assistance to global crises as quickly and effectively as possible.

On this course, you’ll learn how humanitarian relief is provided and explore the logistical concepts and principles that are applied in humanitarian operations.

You’ll consider the importance of supply chain management and recognise how contextual differences alter the requirements of logistics management during aid operations.


  • Week 1

    Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chains

    • Introducing Humanitarian Logistics

      Did you know that between 60% to 80% of the disaster relief effort is about logistics? Find out why here.

    • Characteristics of humanitarian logistics

      Have you heard the story of humanitarian logistics and how it differs from commercial logistics? This is your chance.

    • Managing humanitarian supply chains (HSCs)

      How do you think humanitarian supply chains perform under uncertainty? Take a peek inside a humanitarian logistician toolbox.

    • Relationships in humanitarian logistics

      Would you trust another organisation or even your competitor to deliver your relief items? Find out how commercial companies and humanitarian organisations work together for the sake of relief.

  • Week 2

    Current developments and trends in humanitarian supply chains

    • Introduction to Week 2

      Now that we have covered the basics during week 1 it is time to learn more about the changing field of humanitarian logistics.

    • Services in humanitarian logistics

      Have you heard people say that we live in a “service economy”? Have you thought that this may also be the case of humanitarian relief? Find out more here.

    • Technology

      Did you know that drones can cut the delivery of medical supplies from hours to minutes? Discover how technological innovations impact humanitarian logistics here.

    • Security/protection

      Were you aware that there are more than 70 million refugees worldwide? And that every 2 seconds one person is forcibly displaced as a result of a conflict? Learn more about it here.

    • Migration and shelter

      Are you aware that on average, many displaced persons spend more than 16 years living as refugees in temporary shelter? Find out more here.

    • Disease Outbreaks

      Did you know that since the beginning of the 20th century, the world has experienced more than 10 major epidemic threats? Find out more here.

    • Towards a more sustainable provision of aid

      Did you know that local farmers produce about 70% of the global food supply and are still especially vulnerable to food insecurity? Found out why here.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the characteristics of the humanitarian context
  • Explain how humanitarian relief is provided
  • Identify the role of logistics in humanitarian relief
  • Apply logistical principles and concepts to the humanitarian context

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a masters program in humanitarian logistics.

The course will also be useful for working professionals or anyone looking to deepen their knowledge in humanitarian logistics.

Who will you learn with?

Diego Vega is Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility, esp. Humanitarian Logistics and Director of the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics.

Gyöngyi Kovács is the Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics, and founding Director of the HUMLOG Institute.


Graham is a Professor in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility, at Hanken.

Who developed the course?

Hanken School of Economics

Hanken is a triple crown accredited Finnish university with long experience in education and research in business. Located in Helsinki and Vaasa, Hanken has 2,500 students from all around the world.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$109/one-off payment


Automatically renews


Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 3 May 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 3 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLhumlog to talk about this course on social media.