Dr Sarah Schiffling

Liverpool Business School

Sarah Schiffling is a Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, and an International Research Fellow with the HUMLOG Institute in Helsinki, Finland. She previously worked as Lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management at the University of Lincoln, UK. She obtained a PhD in Humanitarian Logistics from Heriot-Watt University, UK.

Sarah's research interests include pharmaceutical supply chains, disaster relief operations, and supply chain management in developing nations. Her current projects focus on vaccine supply chains, logistics in conflict areas, commercial-humanitarian interactions, and project management. Sarah speaks fluent German. She recently completed secondments with companies in Germany and Switzerland as part of an EU-funded Horizon2020 project.

Sarah frequently delivers guest lectures on humanitarian logistics and pharmaceutical supply chains in the UK and abroad. Her recent publications include papers in the International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Annals of Operations Research, and the International Journal of Production Research.

She has appeared as a supply chain expert on TV for EuroNews, ITV, Sky, BBC News, and ZDF (Germany), as well as on radio in the UK, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Interviews with Sarah have featured in articles by BBC News, AlJazeera, France24 (Spain), The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Le Figaro (France), Xinhua News (China), Deutschlandfunk (Germany) and other print and online outlets. Her articles on The Conversation and RTE Brainstorm (Ireland) have been read around the globe.

Sarah's teaching responsibilities include module leadership in Business Process Excellence, Supply Chain Management, and Logistics&Transportation, as well as tutoring on other modules. She maintains a curated playlist of supply chain management teaching materials on BoB National: https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/teaching-and-research/bob-curated-playlists/supply-chain-management/

Sarah is looking for doctoral students to supervise in the area of humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. Please email a draft research proposal to discuss your ideas!




2017, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom, PhD in Supply Chain Management
2011, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom, MRes (with distinction) in Social Sciences Research
2010, University of Warwick, United Kingdom, MSc (with distinction) in Supply Chain and Logistics Management
2009, IUBH University of Applied Sciences, Germany, BA in Aviation Management

Internet publication

Schiffling S, Valantasis Kanellos N. 2021. How the Ever Given exposed the fragility of global supply chains. Author Url Public Url

Breen L, Schiffling S. 2021. Vaccine supply chains: Collaboration is the key to success Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Breen L. 2021. The UK’s speedy COVID-19 vaccine rollout: surprise success or planned perfection? Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Breen L. 2021. The Long Road Ahead: The Vaccine Supply Chain Challenge Author Url

Breen L, Schiffling S. 2021. COVID-19 Vaccine Logistics: How Have Digital Hotspots Supported The Rollout? Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Breen L. 2021. COVID vaccine supply is causing an EU crisis – so what’s being done to speed up production? Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Breen L. 2021. COVID vaccine: some waste is normal – but here’s how it is being kept to a minimum Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Breen L. 2020. COVID vaccines are starting to arrive – here’s how everyone will get them Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Breen L, Schiffling S. 2020. Vaccines are here, but how will we get them to billions of people? Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S. The Longest Mile of the Vaccine Supply Chain. Author Url Public Url

Breen L, Schiffling S. Moderna and Novavax – here’s what new vaccines mean for the UK rollout and the end of lockdown Author Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Valantasis Kanellos N. Ship Happens: Ever Given and Forgotten Author Url Public Url

Journal article

Dubey R, Bryde DJ, Foropon C, Tiwari M, Dwivedi Y, Schiffling S. 2021. An investigation of information alignment and collaboration as complements to supply chain agility in humanitarian supply chain International Journal of Production Research, 59 :1586-1605 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Hannibal C, Fan Y, Tickle M. 2020. Coopetition in temporary contexts: examining swift trust and swift distrust in humanitarian operations International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 40 :1449-1473 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Hannibal C, Tickle M, Fan Y. 2020. The implications of complexity for humanitarian logistics: a complex adaptive systems perspective ANNALS OF OPERATIONS RESEARCH, DOI Author Url Public Url

Schiffling S, Karamperidis S, Nelson JD. 2015. Local Shops vs. Online Retailers: Competition or Synergy? SCOTTISH GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, 131 :220-227 DOI Author Url

Schiffling S, Piecyk M. 2014. Performance measurement in humanitarian logistics: a customer-oriented approach Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 4 :198-221 DOI


Schiffling S, Phelan C, Loday KP. 2020. Responsible Rural Tourism in Bhutan: Aligning Gross National Happiness and the Cape Town Principles Nair V, Hamzah A, Musa G. Responsible Rural Tourism in Asia Channel View 9781845417512

Schiffling S. 2018. Sharing the music: Shanti-Fest–a humanitarian festival? Seraphin H, Nolan E. Green Events and Green Tourism An International Guide to Good Practice Routledge 9781138334755

Conference publication

Schiffling S, Fan Y, Hannibal C, Tickle M. Swift trust - swifter distrust: Exploring coopetition in humanitarian supply chains 26th International EurOMA Conference

Schiffling S, Hughes K. Sourcing in humanitarian logistics: local, regional, and global approaches European Operations Management Association Public Url

Schiffling S, Phelan C, Loday KP. Culturally sustainable entrepreneurship: realising socio-economic development in Bhutan 15th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference


Schiffling S. An application of the concept of messy problems to supply chain management: an investigation of non-standard supply chains in humanitarian logistics Piecyk M, Greening P, Caldwell N.

Media Coverage:

https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/corona-strategie-in-grossbritannien-mit-apothekern-und.724.de.html?dram:article_id=495388, Deutschlandfunk, Germany, Mit Apothekern und Hausärzten zum Impf-Vorreiter Europas. 2021

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/europe/2021-04/01/c_139851977.htm, Xinhua News Agency, China, “World Insights: Britain-EU row over coronavirus vaccine likely to continue amid supply shortages”. 2021

https://news.sky.com/story/suez-canal-disruption-where-are-the-ships-that-decided-to-try-another-route-12260972, Sky News, “Suez Canal disruption: Where are the ships that decided to try another route?”. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tlm0, BBC Radio Ulster, Good Morning Ulster, Suez Crisis. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tlp2, BBC Radio Ulster, Evening Extra, Suez Canal Ship Refloated. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tms7, BBC Radio Foyle, The News at One, The Suez Canal and Global Trade. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/197240, BBC News, Suez Ship Blockage. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tml9, BBC 5 live, Sunday Breakfast, Suez Canal Blockage and Global Supply Chains. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/197225, Sky News, Sky News at Breakfast, New EU Vaccine Export Rules. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55571793, BBC News, “India coronavirus: Why have vaccine exports been suspended?”. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000tg7l, BBC Radio Scotland, Lunchtime Live, Vaccine Supply Chains. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000tggp, BBC 5 live, 5 live Breakfast, New EU Export Rules for Vaccines. 2021

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/covid-news-eu-vaccine-coronavirus-export-ban-astrazeneca-cases/, The Telegraph, “Global jabs pass 500 million as Europe vaccine feuds deepen”. 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2021/mar/26/china-sanctions-uighurs-uk-covid-coronavirus-boris-johnson-latest-updates?page=with:block-605db3a68f08ef6f2f14068c, The Guardian, “Coronavirus live”. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/197227, BBC News, EU Vaccine Controls. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/1816303A?bcast=134119562, ITV, Evening News, Possible EU Vaccine Export Ban. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/1816303A?bcast=134119562, ITV, Evening News, Vaccine Supply Problems. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000tdl4, BBC Radio 5 live, Late Night with Colin Murray, Vaccine Update. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tdf0, BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, Where do the COVID Vaccines come from?. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p098byc5, BBC Radio Cumbria, Breakfast, International Vaccine Supply Chains. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09b4vzj, BBC Newscast, Sturgent Update. 2021

https://news.sky.com/video/lumps-and-bumps-in-supply-chain-not-unexpected-12249559, Sky News, Ian King Live, Lumps and Bumps in Supply Chain not Unexpected. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55571793, BBC News, “India coronavirus: Can its vaccine producers meet demand?”. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000t8z5, BBC News, Vaccine Supply Chain Challenges. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000t5qz, BBC 5 live, Wake up to Money, Lumpy Supply. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000t63m, BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, Vaccine Supply Interruptions. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000t69r, BBC Radio Ulster, Evening Extra, Vaccine Supply Chains. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000t6jx, BBC 5 live, 5 live Breakfast, Vaccine Supply Interruptions. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000t6lb, BBC Radio 4, World at One, Vaccine Supply Chains. 2021

https://www.france24.com/es/europa/20210308-las-mujeres-detr%C3%A1s-de-la-vacuna-oxford-astrazeneca, France24, “Las mujeres detrás de la vacuna Oxford/AstraZeneca”. 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000s3sh, BBC Radio Scotland Drivetime, interview on vaccine waste. 2021

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/a-hollywood-film-and-a-cunning-plan-how-britain-got-its-vaccine-rollout-right-20210209-p57117.html, The Sydney Morning Herald, "A Hollywood film and a cunning plan: how Britain got its vaccine rollout right". 2021

https://omny.fm/shows/roy-green-show/the-roy-green-show-podcast-january-31st-featuring, The Roy Green Show, Corus Radio Network, Canada.. 2021

https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute-in-europa/spitzenreiter-beim-impfen-100.html, ZDF Heute in Europa "Spitzenreiter beim Impfen". 2021

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/25/whats-behind-the-uks-covid-vaccination-success, Al Jazeera, "COVID: How has the UK managed to master the vaccine roll-out?". 2021

https://konkret24.tvn24.pl/zdrowie,110/utylizacja-szczepionek-gigantycznym-skandalem-nie-to-trzeba-uwzgledniac,1045836.html, Konkret24, Utylizacja szczepionek "gigantycznym skandalem"? Nie, to trzeba uwzględniać. 2021

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/189284?bcast=133672720, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05qmvtw, BBC News, Outside Source, "Waste in the Vaccine Supply Chain. 2021

https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/13/covid-vaccine-from-factory-to-arm-the-logistics-of-rolling-out-the-oxford-astrazeneca-jab, Euronews, Good Morning Europe, "COVID vaccine: From factory to arm, the logistics of rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab". 2021

https://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/covid-la-france-anticipe-t-elle-reellement-25-a-30-de-pertes-sur-ses-vaccins-20210106, Le Figaro, "Covid : la France anticipe-t-elle réellement 25 à 30% de pertes sur ses vaccins?". 2021

https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2020/12/who-africa-far-from-ready-to-deliver-covid-19-vaccines/, Alliance for Science, WHO: Africa ‘far from ready’ to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. 2020

Other Professional Activity:

Teaching resource: Curated playlist on BoB National on "Supply Chain Management" https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/teaching-and-research/bob-curated-playlists/supply-chain-management/. 2021


Highly commended paper, Chris Voss award, EurOMA 2019. 2019


International Research Fellow, HUMLOG Institute, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland, https://www.hanken.fi/en/departments-and-centres/department-marketing/humlog/fellowship-programme/our-fellows.