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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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Caschili & Francesca Romana Medda, 2012. "A Review of the Maritime Container Shipping Industry as a Complex Adaptive System," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 10(1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:10:y:2012:i:1:p:1-15
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    File URL: http://indecs.eu/2012/indecs2012-pp1-15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sheri M. Markose, 2005. "Computability and Evolutionary Complexity: Markets as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(504), pages 159-192, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2010. "Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. 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 547-556.
    5. 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.
    6. John Foster, 2005. "From simplistic to complex systems in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 873-892, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Notteboom Theo E., 2004. "Container Shipping And Ports: An Overview," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-21, June.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco FUGAZZA & Jan HOFFMANN & Rado RAZAFINOMBANA, 2015. "Building A Dataset For Bilateral Maritime Connectivity," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 41, pages 101-124.
    2. Viljoen, Nadia M. & Joubert, Johan W., 2016. "The vulnerability of the global container shipping network to targeted link disruption," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 462(C), pages 396-409.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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