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International Journal of Logistics
Research and Applications
Sustainable Maritime Supply Chain Management
Submission Deadline: 31st March 2023

Guest editors

  • Prof. Jihong CHEN (Lead guest editor), Shenzhen University, China

  • Prof. Weihua LIU, Tianjin University, China

  • Prof. Jiaguo LIU, Dalian Maritime University, China

  • Prof. Chin-Shan LU, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

  • Prof. Lenny Koh, Sheffield University, UK


Overview of the special issue

Maritime transportation has been viewed as the most significant means of transport for world trade and civil societies due to its massive volume. Over the last decades, international seaborne trade has increased a lot, accounting for over 90% of world trade (UNCTAD, 2021; Xu et al., 2021). Maritime shipping is considered an economically and environmentally efficient mode of transport (Hossain et al., 2021). In addition to its role in transport development, regional economic growth, and direct and indirect employment, its impacts on the environment are not negligible (Kong & Liu, 2021). The increased international seaborne trade has led to significant adverse effects on the environment including increased noise, reduced air quality, biodiversity loss, and water pollution, as well as impacts on public health and safety (Lim et al., 2019). How to create a balance between economic growth, environmental protection, and social progress is a key objective of the maritime industry (Taljaard et al., 2021).


The shipping industry has always been the lifeblood of the global economy, and it has begun practicing sustainability strategies and using green technology to meet emissions standards and reduce the impacts of marine pollution and climate change (Jasmi & Fernando, 2018). With global regulations regarding environmental issues in maritime transport being developed and enacted, for example, the MARPOL regulations and the Kyoto Protocol, which includes IMO 2020 Sulfur limit and the reduction of the shipping industry's greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050. Kinds of measures about maritime emission reduction have been put forward, which includes technical, operational, market-based measures, aiming at promoting energy-saving and emission reduction (Chen et al., 2021). Most recently, environmental sustainability is a topic of increasing importance in supply chain management and logistics strategy (Davis-Sramek et al., 2022). Standing in the viewpoint of the maritime supply chain, cargo owners, seaport operators, consulting services providers, and maritime suppliers are also integral parts of the maritime supply chain with unique operational features (i.e., size, type, location), special sectoral issues and priorities (Liu & Wang, 2019; Liu et al., 2021b; Karagiannis et al., 2022).


Recently, there is a noticeable increase in interest in sustainable maritime practices in the functions of supply chain management, which highlights the importance of sustainable maritime supply chain management (SMSCM). To achieve a sustainable supply chain, a company has to address environmental, social, economic, and legal concerns across its entire supply chain. As for the SMSCM, it involves activities and operations in every aspect of maritime, including goods suppliers, ports authorities, carriers, cargo owners, and some other stakeholders (Zhang et al., 2021). Relevant research methods mainly involve game theory (Liu et al., 2021a), mathematical programming (Lotfi et al., 2021), empirical analysis (Seo et al., 2016; Chhetri et al., 2021). In addition to environmental pollution due to maritime, the emergency of COVID-19 also brings some challenges to SMSCM, which has had a significantly negative impact on the maritime supply chain (Lotfi et al., 2021). From the perspective of maritime, issues involved are considerable but are not limited to the changes in demand structure, port congestion, panic buying, shortage of truck drivers, supply disruption of products, logistics and supply chain network designs (Lotfi et al., 2021), which increase the concerns and calls for maritime supply chain resilience and risk management (Esmizadeh & Parast, 2021). As the pandemic remains uncertain, the maritime supply chain is under unprecedented pressure, how to build and maintain a sustainable supply chain in maritime becoming a critical and novel management philosophy.


Hence, the SMSCM is inseparable from seaports, logistics providers, cargo owners, suppliers, and so on, integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the maritime supply chain lifecycle. Existing issues of sustainable maritime lack the research on supply chain perspective, and most of them from ports’ or shipping companies’ standpoint. The novelty of this SI is to highlight sustainable management in the maritime supply chain. Compared to traditional SI of supply chain and maritime transportation, this SI concerns SMSCM. This SI welcomes research employing data analytics, optimization, game theory, multi-criteria decision making, empirical study, and comprehensive study.


Recommended topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Management strategy of sustainable maritime supply chain

  • Decision making of sustainable maritime supply chain

  • Emerging technology application in SMSCM

  • Collaborations and connections of SMSCM

  • Network analysis of SMSCM

  • Risk analysis of SMSCM

  • Mitigating maritime supply chains disruptions through SMSCM

  • Resilient maritime supply chain framework

  • Green maritime supply chain management

  • Data analytics and digital twin technique for SMSCM

  • Systematic framework development for SMSCM

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on maritime supply chains sustainability

  • Assessment methods, modeling, and simulation for sustainability in maritime supply chains

  • Performance measurement for SMSCM

  • The application of emerging technology in the SMSCM

  • Carbon peaking and carbon neutralization in maritime supply chain

  • Governance and policy of pollution of maritime supply chain


Publication schedule

  • Full manuscript submission by: 31st Mar 2023 

  • 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. This SI welcomes conference papers submitted at “2022 International Conference on Intelligent Transportation and Logistics with Big Data & The Tenth International Forum on Decision Sciences” in May 6-8, 2022, Harbin, China and The 7th International Conference on Transportation Information and Safety (ICTIS 2023) in Xi’an, China. It is also open to papers in the above listed themes, which are submitted via IJLRA website. Regarding the submission guidelines and other details, authors should refer to the details on the journal website. Please make sure you indicate that your manuscript is for the "Sustainable maritime supply chain management" SI when prompted in the submission portal. 



  • Chen, J., Xiong, W., Xu, L., & Di, Z. (2021). Evolutionary game analysis on supply side of the implement shore-to-ship electricity. Ocean & Coastal Management, 215, 105926.

  • Chhetri, P., Hashemi, A., Lau, K. H., & Lim, M. K. (2021). Aligning supply chain complexity with product demand and design characteristics. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 1-27.

  • Davis-Sramek, B., Hopkins, C. D., Richey, R. G., & Morgan, T. R. (2022). Leveraging supplier relationships for sustainable supply chain management: insights from social exchange theory. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 25(1), 101-118.

  • Esmizadeh, Y., & Parast, M. M. (2021). Logistics and supply chain network designs: incorporating competitive priorities and disruption risk management perspectives. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 24(2), 174-197.

  • Hossain, T., Adams, M., & Walker, T. R. (2021). Role of sustainability in global seaports. Ocean & Coastal Management, 202, 105435.

  • Jasmi, M. F. A., & Fernando, Y. (2018). Drivers of maritime green supply chain management. Sustainable Cities and Society, 43, 366-383.

  • Kong, Y., & Liu, J. (2021). Sustainable port cities with coupling coordination and environmental efficiency. Ocean & Coastal Management, 205, 105534.

  • Karagiannis, I., Vouros, P., Sioutas, N., & Evangelinos, K. (2022). Mapping the maritime CSR agenda: A cross-sectoral materiality analysis of sustainability reporting. Journal of Cleaner Production, 338, 130139.

  • Lim, S., Pettit, S., Abouarghoub, W., & Beresford, A. (2019). Port sustainability and performance: A systematic literature review. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 72, 47-64.

  • Liu, J., & Wang, J. (2019). Carrier alliance incentive analysis and coordination in a maritime transport chain based on service competition. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 128, 333-355.

  • Liu, J., Kong, Y., Li, S., & Wu, J. (2021a). Sustainability assessment of port cities with a hybrid model-empirical evidence from China. Sustainable Cities and Society, 75, 103301.

  • Liu, J., Wang, X., & Guo, J. (2021b). Port efficiency and its influencing factors in the context of Pilot Free Trade Zones. Transport Policy, 105, 67-79.

  • Lotfi, R., Sheikhi, Z., Amra, M., AliBakhshi, M., & Weber, G.-W. (2021). Robust optimization of risk-aware, resilient and sustainable closed-loop supply chain network design with Lagrange relaxation and fix-and-optimize. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 1-41.

  • Seo, Y.-J., Dinwoodie, J., & Roe, M. (2016). The influence of supply chain collaboration on collaborative advantage and port performance in maritime logistics. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 19(6), 562-582.

  • Taljaard, S., Slinger, J. H., Arabi, S., Weerts, S. P., & Vreugdenhil, H. (2021). The natural environment in port development: A ‘green handbrake’ or an equal partner? Ocean & Coastal Management, 199, 105390.

  • UNCTAD, 2021. Review of Maritime Transport 2021 [online]. United Nations Publications, 300 East 42nd Street New York, New York 10017 United States of America. Available at: https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/rmt2021_en.pdf.

  • Xu, Q., Huang, T., Chen, J., Wan, Z., Qin, Q., & Song, L. (2021). Port rank-size rule evolution: Case study of Chinese coastal ports. Ocean & Coastal Management, 211, 105803.

  • Zhang, S., Chen, J., Wan, Z., Yu, M., Shu, Y., Tan, Z., & Liu, J. (2021). Challenges and countermeasures for international ship waste management: IMO, China, United States, and EU. Ocean & Coastal Management, 213, 105836.

Guest editors’ biographies

Prof. Jihong Chen, Shenzhen University, Email: jihongchen@szu.edu.cn

Jihong Chen is Distinguished Professor at College of Management, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China. He worked in Shanghai Maritime University for more than ten years in Shanghai, China, as a Professor and Chair of the Department of Management. His research expertise includes maritime supply chain and logistics management, port and shipping management, maritime management and policy. He has published more than 180 academic papers, including publications on Nature, Ocean & Coastal Management, Ocean Engineering, Annals of Operations Research, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Transport Policy, Computers & Industrial Engineering, Journal of Navigation, Marine Policy, Journal of Environmental Management, Environmental Pollution and Marine Pollution Bulletin. He has conducted more than 80 international, national, provincial and other marine projects, and has won more than 20 awards from the government, industry associations, maritime departments, etc. He serves as an editor of Ocean and Coastal Management (OCMA), associate editor of Regional Studied in Marine Science (RSMA), and editorial board member for several other journals. He is an expert member or scholar of many marine academic institutions and maritime enterprises .

Prof. Weihua Liu, Tianjin University, Email: lwhliu@tju.edu.cn

Professor Weihua Liu is currently the head of the Department of Operation and Supply Chain Management, College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, China. He serves as an outstanding Professor in Tianjin University. His research interests include service supply chain management, sustainable supply chain management, smart logistics and supply chain management. He has published more than 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals such as European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Economics, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Transportation Research Part E, International Journal of Production Research, Annals of Operations Research, etc. He is the Asia editor of International Journal of Logistics Research and Application, Associate editor of Modern supply chain Research and Application, Associate editor of Frontiers of Engineering Management and editor of International Journal of Business Performance and Supply Chain Modelling, etc. He also serviced as Guest Editors in high level international journals such as Transportation Research Part E, International Journal of Production Economics, Ocean & Coastal Management, etc. He is the vice president of the China Society of Logistics, Chief Expert of Major Program of the National Social Science Foundation of China, Member of the National Technical Committee of Logistics Standardization of China.




Prof. Jiaguo Liu, Dalian Maritime University, Email: liujiaguo@gmail.com

Prof. Jiaguo Liu is currently a Professor and Head of the Department of Management Business Administration at the School of Maritime Economics and Management, Dalian Maritime University. He is the Director of the Institute for Development of Ports and Shipping in Liaoning Province, China. He received his Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Harbin Engineering University, China. His research interests include Supply Chain Management, Maritime Operations Management. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications, such as Transportation Research Part B, Transportation Research Part E, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, Transport Policy, Ocean & Coastal Management, Ocean Engineering, Maritime Policy & Management. His research has been supported by National Science Foundation of China and National Development and Reform Commission.

Prof. Chin-Shan Lu, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Email: chin-shan.lu@polyu.edu.hk

Professor Chin-Shan Lu is currently a Professor and Associate Head at the Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a Director for the C. Y. Tung International Centre for Maritime Studies, and acts a Chairman for the China Maritime Institute in Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. in Maritime Studies and International Transport from the Cardiff University in the UK in 1997.  Professor Lu is acting an Editor-in-Chief for the Maritime Business Review (MABR) included in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and Scopus. He acted an Associate Editor for the Maritime Policy & Management (SSCI) between 2011 and 2017, and Guest Editor for the special issues for the Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice (SSCI), International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics (SSCI), International Journal of Logistics Management (SSCI), International Journal of Production Economics (SCI), and Maritime Policy and Management (SSCI). His research interests including sustainable supply chain in shipping and port, global logistics operations, and maritime logistics.

Prof. Lenny Koh, Sheffield University, Email: s.c.l.koh@sheffield.ac.uk

Professor Lenny Koh, BEng (Hons), PhD, FRSA, is a Chair Professor in Operations Management, Founders and Directors of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre at the Management School & the Faculty’s Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), at The University of Sheffield, UK. She is also the co-founder of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems (SCMIS) Consortium, a global network of leading academic and practitioners driving research and knowledge exchange on supply chain and information systems. A World leading mind recognised amongst FRSs and Nobel Laureates within the University, Professor Koh is a Senior Chair Professor, an internationally renowned and established authority in supply chain especially on low carbon and sustainability, with a high H-index and high research income generation in her discipline internationally. She is active in leading a 2022 Futures initiative advancing resource efficiency and supply chain disciplines, navigating a new translational model for connecting invention/basic science at lower TRL to higher TRL. Professor Koh’s work is world leading with its novelty; and has generated major impact onto society, industry and government. Her research intersects supply chain and information sciences for resource efficiency and sustainability. Her work is multi- and inter- disciplinary, crosses supply chain, information systems, energy, engineering, social science and science disciplines in understanding today and futures complex supply chain problems induced by climate change and uncertainty.