Centralized vehicle leasing in humanitarian fleet management: the UNHCR case

Kunz, Nathan Michael; Wassenhove, Luk N.; McConnell, Rob; Hov, Ketil (2015). Centralized vehicle leasing in humanitarian fleet management: the UNHCR case Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 5(3), pp. 387-404. Emerald Publishing 10.1108/JHLSCM-07-2015-0034

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Purpose Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the organization. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrates how the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) managed to substantially improve its fleet management through the introduction of an Internal Leasing Program (ILP), in which headquarters procures vehicles and leases them to field offices. Design/methodology/approach This paper develops a framework for fleet management based on a longitudinal case study with UNHCR. It compares fleet performance indicators before and after implementation of an ILP. Findings At UNHCR, vehicle procurement was driven by availability of funding. Fleet management was highly decentralized and field offices had limited awareness of its importance. These systems and behaviors led to major challenges for the organization. The introduction of the ILP positively impacted fleet management at UNHCR by reducing fleet size, average age of fleet and procurement costs. Practical implications This paper provides fleet managers with a tool for analyzing their fleet. The frameworks and actions described in this paper contain practical recommendations for achieving a well-performing fleet. Originality/value This paper is the first to analyze fleet management before and after introduction of an ILP. It describes the benefits of this model based on empirical data, and develops frameworks to be used by researchers and practitioners.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Business School > Institute for Sustainable Business
Business School


Kunz, Nathan Michael;
Wassenhove, Luk N.;
McConnell, Rob and
Hov, Ketil




Emerald Publishing




Nathan Michael Kunz

Date Deposited:

02 Aug 2023 14:19

Last Modified:

10 Oct 2023 08:43

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Humanitarian operations, Internal Leasing Program, Vehicle fleet management





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