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The Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics (ISTL) serves as an umbrella to unite faculty from across the UB campus with an interest in transportation, logistics, and supply chain management (SCM).

The Institute offers: 

  • Research programs
  • Interdisciplinary master’s degree and a graduate certificate
  • Mechanisms for collaboration

Formed in 2013, the ISTL is jointly led by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the School of Management (SOM).

What is Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management?

Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management (SCM) provides the foundational systems that support human endeavor throughout the world.  From a business standpoint, successful logistics and SCM help to reduce operating costs, improve customer satisfaction, and boost an enterprise’s financial position. 

From a societal standpoint, transportation plays an indispensable role in maintaining social life and has a direct impact on the quality of life. 

The field also offers tremendous job opportunities, with over 1.3 trillion dollars spent annually on transportation, inventory, and related logistics in the US alone, and accounts for around 10% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

For example, effective transportation, logistics and SCM can:

  • Serve as a foundation for economic growth;
  • Conserve energy and reduce pollution;
  • Help sustain human life and mitigate loss during disasters and extreme events; and
  • Improve public health and health care delivery.

Given the broad scope of the field and the wide range of challenges and applications to which it can be applied, transportation, logistics, and SCM education and research call for a trans-disciplinary approach which integrates analytical and engineering problem-solving skills with managerial principles and creative adaptation.  While most existing research centers and degree programs in transportation, logistics and SCM are almost exclusive to either Engineering or Management, UB’s ISTL is one of only a few institutes that offer a truly joint program to meet this societal challenge.