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A Review of the Maritime Container Shipping Industry as a Complex Adaptive System

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  • Simone Caschili

    ()
    (UCL QASER LAB, University College London)

  • Francesca Romana Medda

    (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London)

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    Abstract

    If we consider the worldwide maritime shipping industry as a system, we observe that a large number of independent rational agents such as port authorities, shipping service providers, shipping companies, and commodity producers play a role in achieving predominant positions and in increasing market share. The maritime shipping industry can, from this perspective, be defined as a Complex System composed of relatively independent parts that constantly search, learn and adapt to their environment, while their mutual interactions shape obscure but recognizable patterns. In this work we examine the maritime shipping industry through the Complex Adaptive System (CAS). Although CAS has been applied widely to the study of biological and social systems, its application in maritime shipping is scant. Therefore, our objective in the present paper is to provide a literature review that examines the international maritime industry through the lens of CAS. We also present some of the goals that may be achieved by applying the CAS approach to the container shipping industry in particular. The construction of a tenable ontological framework will give scholars a comprehensive view of the maritime industry and allow them to test the stability and efficiency of the framework to endogenous and exogenous shocks.

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    File URL: http://indecs.eu/2012/indecs2012-pp1-15.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu in its journal Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-15

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    Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:10:y:2012:i:1:p:1-15

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    Related research

    Keywords: international trade; maritime container shipping industry; complex adaptive systems;

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    References

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    1. Sheri M. Markose, 2004. "Computability and Evolutionary Complexity: Markets As Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)," Economics Discussion Papers 574, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2007. "Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0703, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Apr 2007.
    3. Keshavarz, Nastaran & Nutbeam, Don & Rowling, Louise & Khavarpour, Freidoon, 2010. "Schools as social complex adaptive systems: A new way to understand the challenges of introducing the health promoting schools concept," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1467-1474, May.
    4. David Glen & Peter Marlow, 2009. "Maritime Statistics: a new forum for practitioners," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 185-195, April.
    5. John Foster, 2005. "From simplistic to complex systems in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 873-892, November.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    7. Van Bergeijk, Peter A G & Berk, Jan Marc, 2001. "European Monetary Union, the Term Structure, and the Lucas Critique," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 547-56.
    8. César Ducruet & Sung-Woo Lee & Adolf K.Y. Ng, 2010. "Centrality and vulnerability in liner shipping networks: revisiting the Northeast Asian port hierarchy," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 17-36, January.
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