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Evolution and research trends of container shipping


  • Yui-Yip Lau
  • Adolf K. Y. Ng
  • Xiaowen Fu
  • Kevin X. Li


The shipping industry was transformed by the expansion of international trade and technological innovation, notably containerization, since the 1960s. Accordingly, this was followed by a significant increase in research addressing different aspects of container shipping. Despite such availability, important questions have remained unanswered: what are the major contributions that the research community has made to the container shipping industry, global and regional economies? Have their contributions been skewed towards particular themes, directions, and geographical areas? What can the shipping research community learn from the evolution and trends of container shipping research so that they can continue to contribute to the well-being of the global and regional economies? To address these questions, the paper undertakes a critical review and analysis on the evolution and trends of research in container shipping in the past four decades, based on a collection of 282 papers investigating different topics in container shipping featuring in major scholarly journals between 1967 and 2012. The study enables the shipping research community to enhance self-understandings and identifies major gaps for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Yui-Yip Lau & Adolf K. Y. Ng & Xiaowen Fu & Kevin X. Li, 2013. "Evolution and research trends of container shipping," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(7), pages 654-674, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:marpmg:v:40:y:2013:i:7:p:654-674
    DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2013.851459

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Kun & Fu, Xiaowen & Luo, Meifeng, 2015. "Modeling the impacts of alternative emission trading schemes on international shipping," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 35-49.
    2. repec:eee:transe:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:164-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mitroussi, K. & Abouarghoub, W. & Haider, J.J. & Pettit, S.J. & Tigka, N., 2016. "Performance drivers of shipping loans: An empirical investigation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(P3), pages 438-452.
    4. Rau, Philipp & Spinler, Stefan, 2017. "Alliance formation in a cooperative container shipping game: Performance of a real options investment approach," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 155-175.
    5. Rau, Philipp & Spinler, Stefan, 2016. "Investment into container shipping capacity: A real options approach in oligopolistic competition," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 130-147.
    6. Alam, Sheraz & Sohail, M. Farhan & Ghauri, Sajjad A. & Qureshi, I.M. & Aqdas, Naveed, 2017. "Cognitive radio based Smart Grid Communication Network," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 535-548.
    7. Yu, Ming-Miin & Chen, Li-Hsueh, 2016. "Centralized resource allocation with emission resistance in a two-stage production system: Evidence from a Taiwan’s container shipping company," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 650-671.

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