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Maritime Essay Topics

Maritime transport plays a vital role in global supply chains. The most recent Review of Maritime Transport published by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) notes that 80 per cent of global merchandise trade by volume are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide with global seaborne trade reaching over 9 billion tons in 2012 for the first time.  However, maritime transport is facing major challenges including low freight rates for containers and bulk cargoes, soaring bunker fuel prices, and issues of environmental sustainability. Carriers, port operators, freight forwarders and shippers, as the main players in maritime logistics, have taken steps to address these challenges. For example, container shipping lines have implemented “slow steaming” to save fuel (“bunker”) and absorb excess capacity. They are also forming alliances to add ports to routes while reducing ports of call for alliance members, reducing call frequencies, and thereby helping to fill ultra large container carriers (ULCCs) to benefit from scale efficiencies. Port operators have adopted advanced hard and soft technologies to efficiently handle increasingly large loading and unloading requirements, provide effective intermodal connections with expanding port hinterlands, and move toward more sustainable ship and port operations (the “green port” concept). Freight forwarders have endeavored to provide seamless door-to-door intermodal transport services for their customers. These changes in maritime logistics challenge academia to develop supporting models and methods of analysis.

A special issue in the international journal Transportation Research Part B on “Shipping, Port and Maritime Logistics” is being organized. The scope of this Special Issue will include model development and optimization as well as empirical data collection and advanced quantitative analysis within the context of shipping, ports and maritime logistics. Typical topics include:

  • Liner/tramp/industrial shipping route or network analysis
  • Port operation
  • Intermodal freight transport incorporating maritime transport
  • Green shipping or ports
  • Ship propulsion efficiency and sustainability
  • Shipping competition, alliances, pools, and vessel sharing agreements
  • Inter- and intra-port competition

Guest Editors:

Michael G. H. Bell
Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies
University of Sydney, Australia 
michael.bell@sydney.edu.au

Qiang Meng
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
National University of Singapore, Singapore
ceqmeng@nus.edu.sg

The estimated times for the various steps of this special issue are as follows:

  • Submission of full paper online (now until): 1 February, 2015
  • Feedback from first-round reviews: 1 May, 2015
  • Revised manuscripts due: 1 July, 2015
  • Final manuscripts due: 1 September, 2015
  • Planned publication:  1 November, 2015

All submissions should be submitted via the Transportation Research Part B online submission system. When you submit your paper to the special issue, please choose article type “SI: Maritime Logistics” otherwise your submission will be handled as a regular manuscript.  All submissions will be subject to the journal’s standard peer review process. Criteria for acceptance include originality, contribution, and scientific merit. For author guidelines, please visit the Journal home page to learn more.

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