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International Journal of Logistics
Research and Applications
Digital transformation in Logistics: Logistics 4.0
Deadline: 31 March 2022
Submit via the journal homepage here.

Guest editors

Dr. Balan Sundarakani (Lead Guest Editor)

Associate Professor, Supply Chain Management

Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai

Block 15, Room 203, Knowledge Park

P. O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE

Email: BalanSundarakani@uowdubai.ac.ae


Prof. Angappa Gunasekaran

Professor of Operations Management

Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

California State University, Bakersfield

9001 Stockdale Highway

Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022, USA

E-mail: agunasekaran@csub.edu


Dr. Ioannis Manikas

Associate Professor, Logistics Management

Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai

Block 15, Room 203, Knowledge Park

P. O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE

Email: Ioannismanikas@uowdubai.ac.ae


Overview of the Special Issue

With the increase in adoption of new digital technologies and the related intelligent transportation systems drive the logistics industry very much faster and better towards streamlined business processes and enhanced logistics security. At the same time, existing barriers to such digital transformation have become prevalent systemic blocks that are needed to be handled appropriately. In the growing domain of Logistics 4.0, like never before, an enormous amount of data is generated in the smart transportation and logistics, which brings new opportunities and challenges (Sundarakani et al. 2021). While examining the upstream supply chain situations, Smart procurement (a.k.a procurement 4.0) needs the support of intelligent transportation in upstream logistics (Culot et al. 2020). Likewise the middle stream activities such as digitalized manufacturing (be it 3D printing or additive manufacturing) would require an unprecedented support of  intelligent driven  transportation systems as well. By taking full advantage of Big data and Digital Twins, researchers can make informed decisions and thereby controlling of costs (Čámská & Klečka (2020); Tao and Qi (2019)), improving energy efficiency (Munsamy et al. 2020), reducing the carbon emissions and achieving other operational goals (Ghadge et al. 2020) that are associated with 360-degree eco-system of logistics 4.0. Thus, the call would like to seek, should there be a need to challenge some of the existing technological adoption models and thus to have a paradigm shift in digital logistics business and or to add the existing technological adoption domain body of knowledge, both are welcomed.


Existing research have revealed that there are many advantages brought by the new technologies and big data in intelligent transportation and logistics in manufacturing, however there are also challenges that affect its performance (da silva et al. 2019, Barreto et al. 2017, Winkelhaus & Grosse, 2020). These include the fusion of multi-source data and transparent management in manufacturing with big data, the integration of intelligent logistics and transportation with smart manufacturing at different levels of design, planning and operational decisions, business intelligence and integration among the supply chain partners with cloud-based transportation and logistics. If these challenges and threats are appropriately assessed against the nature of sources, the entire logistics 4.0 ecosystem would emanate the next wave of competitive advantage for supply chain and logistics industries (Karia  & Kays, 2020). Having discussed there are limited research conducted in this space in terms of grounding theory on big data analytics (BDA), Prescriptive Analytics in logistics, Mixed Reality use in logistics, Digital Twins in logistics, Machine Learning application in theory and much more (Munsamy et al. 2020 and Kostrzewski et al. 2020). Therefore, this call paves the way for such novel research models that can be grounded on theory and be built on existing and new ideas around Logistics 4.0 theme.


Having discussed there are limited research conducted in this space in terms of grounding theory on big data analytics (BDA), Prescriptive Analytics in logistics, Mixed Reality use in logistics, Machine learning application in theory and much more (Munsamy et al. 2020 and Kostrzewski et al. 2020). Building a logistics Digital Twin is still nascent in the literature of Logistics 4.0. Therefore, this call paves the way for such novel research models that can be grounded on theory and be built on existing and new ideas around Logistics 4.0 theme.


This special issue will lead to advance the logistics theme in digital transformation aspects across the various themes that are specifically intended but not limited to below. Because COVID 19 related disruptions have enabled organisations to move towards digital from physical transactions, the call can significantly contribute to the logistics 4.0 domain on all fronts. New boundaries, challenges, theories and practices arising through digitization need to be addressed in this special issue that have clear implications for the logistics industry and society.


This special issue invites research on following themes, but not limited to:

  • Pandemic related challenges impacting the transport and logistics industry towards digitalization

  • Last-mile delivery optimization in multiple- and omni-channel businesses

  • Ubiquitous Sensing in autonomous transportation

  • Cloud Computing in transportation and logistics

  • Augmented Reality in warehousing and logistics

  • Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics in logistics

  • Edge Devices and their connections to non-proprietary networks

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning application in logistics

  • Block Chain technology implementation in BOL contracts     

  • 5G Technologies usage in mobility

  • Smart warehouse management and intelligence

  • Additive Manufacturing applications in logistics

  • Drone operations and drone system

  • Robotics and Dark Warehouses

  • Wearable Computing roles, impact and application in transportation

  • Big Data-driven logistics optimization

  • Smart logistics and supply chains management in Industry 4.0

  • Procurement 4.0 and its impact on logistics 4.0

  • Internet of things and smart transportation

  • Cargo Monitoring and Digital Containerization

  • Building a Digital Twin for supply chain


Publication Schedule:

Full manuscript submission by: 31 March 2022
Review process will begin once submission has been made.
Final manuscript decision: No more than 6 months after submission.


Submission Information

Manuscripts will be subject to a rigorous review process under the supervision of the Guest Editors and Editor-in-Chief, and accepted papers will be published online before print publication. Regarding the submission guidelines and other details, authors should refer to the details on the journal website

Please make sure you indicate the special issue you are submitting to when prompted in the submission portal.


Guest editors’ biography:

Dr. Balan Sundarakani is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Master of Science in Logistics in the Faculty of Business and Management at the University of Wollongong (Australia) in Dubai. He has 20 years of teaching and research experience in the area of Supply Chain Management across the various universities including the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, Hindustan University, Chennai and the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore and the Chair of Logistics Management in Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. He has completed research and consultancy projects for the UOW Dubai, EDB Singapore, IBM, DHL, Ministry of Defence Singapore, Dubai Trade, JAFZA, and RTA Dubai. Dr.Sundarakani has published around 124 research papers in the form of refereed International Journals and book chapters that include International Journal of Production Economics, Omega, Computers in Industry, Competitiveness Review, International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications and Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering.

Prof. Angappa Gunasekaran is a Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the California State University, Bakersfield, USA. He previous held Chairperson of the department of Decision and Information sciences at the Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.  Dr. Gunasekaran has held academic positions at Brunel University (UK), Monash University (Australia), the University of Vaasa (Finland), the University of Madras (India) and the University of Toronto, Laval University, and Concordia University (Canada). He is teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in operations management and management science. Dr. Gunasekaran has received Thomas J. Higginson Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001-2002) within the Charlton College of Business. He has over 200 articles published in 40 different peer-reviewed journals that include Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, International Journal of Production Research, Production and Inventory Management Journal, European Journal of Operational Research and Computers & Industrial engineering.

Dr. Ioannis Manikas is an Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) and currently teaches Operations Management, Project Management, Procurement and Inventory Management, and Logistics Systems on postgraduate level. He has a special interest in Sustainable Supply Chains, Agrifood Logistics and Supply Chain Management. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki specialising in “Traceability and Logistics Management for the Fresh Produce Sector”. He has more than 15 years of working experience in the Academic sector and prior to joining UOWD, Dr Manikas was a Principal Lecturer in Supply Chain Management and Logistics and Program Director for the Undergraduate Business Studies at the Department of Systems Management and Strategy, University of Greenwich, UK. Dr Manikas has more than six years’ experience as an external contractor / consultant for Regional and National Authorities in Greece. His work was mostly focused on the design and development of regional and national operational programs, analysis of regional needs and respective development policies, identification of funding areas and financing resources, definition of strategic goals for regional development and formulation of respective performance monitoring systems, and assessment (ex-ante, on-going, and ex-post) of the implementation of EC and national funding mechanisms.



  1. Čámská, D., & Klečka, J. (2020). Cost development in logistics due to industry 4.0. LogForum, 16(2), 219-227.

  2. Culot, G., Nassimbeni, G., Orzes, G., & Sartor, M. (2020). Behind the definition of industry 4.0: Analysis and open questions. International Journal of Production Economics, 107617.

  3. da Silva, V. L., Kovaleski, J. L., & Pagani, R. N. (2019). Technology transfer in the supply chain oriented to industry 4.0: a literature review. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 31(5), 546-562.

  4. Barreto, L., Amaral, A., & Pereira, T. (2017). Industry 4.0 implications in logistics: an overview. Procedia Manufacturing, 13, 1245-1252.

  5. Facchini, F., Oleśków-Szłapka, J., Ranieri, L., & Urbinati, A. (2020). A maturity model for logistics 4.0: An empirical analysis and a roadmap for future research. Sustainability, 12(1), 86.

  6. Ghadge, A., Kara, M. E., Moradlou, H., & Goswami, M. (2020). The impact of Industry 4.0 implementation on supply chains. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. In-print.

  7. Karia, N., & Kays, H. E. (2020). Resource-Based Logistics (RBL) and Competitive Advantage: Logistics 4.0 Ps Model. In Handbook of Research on the Applications of International Transportation and Logistics for World Trade (pp. 181-194). IGI Global.

  8. Kostrzewski, M., Varjan, P., & Gnap, J. (2020). Solutions Dedicated to Internal Logistics 4.0. In Sustainable Logistics and Production in Industry 4.0 (pp. 243-262). Springer, Cham.

  9. Munsamy, M., Telukdarie, A., & Dhamija, P. (2020). Logistics 4.0 Energy Modelling. International Journal of Business Analytics, 7(1), 98-121.

  10. Sundarakani, B, Rukshanda, K., Piyush, Jain, V., (2020) Designing a Hybrid Cloud for a Supply Chain Network of Industry 4.0: A Theoretical Framework, Benchmarking: An International Journal, ahead of print online https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-04-2018-0109

  11. Sundarakani, B., Aneesh, V., and Gunasekaran, A, (2021) Big Data driven Supply Chain Architecture Design and Application for Block Chain in Industry 4.0, Omega: The International Journal of Management Science, published: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omega.2021.102452 

  12. Tao F. and Qi Q.L. (2019). Make More Digital Twins. Nature, 573, 490-491

  13. Winkelhaus, S., & Grosse, E. H. (2020). Logistics 4.0: a systematic review towards a new logistics system. International Journal of Production Research, 58(1), 18-43.