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A systematic literature review of technological developments and challenges for inland waterways freight transport in intermodal supply chain management

Gbako, S, Paraskevadakis, D, Ren, J, Wang, J and Radmilovic, Z (2024) A systematic literature review of technological developments and challenges for inland waterways freight transport in intermodal supply chain management. Benchmarking: An International Journal. ISSN 1463-5771

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Purpose Inland shipping has been extensively recognised as a sustainable, efficient and good alternative to rail and road modes of transportation. In recent years, various authorities and academic researchers have advocated shifting from road to other sustainable modes like inland waterway transport (IWT) or rail transport. Academic work on modernisation and technological innovations to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of waterborne transportation is becoming apparent as a growing body of literature caused by the need to achieve a sustainable transport system. Thus, it became apparent to explore the research trends on IWT. Design/methodology/approach A systematic and structured literature review study was employed in this paper to identify the challenges and concepts in modernising inland waterways for freight transportation. The review analysed 94 articles published in 54 journals from six well-known databases between 2010 and 2022.The key findings of this review are that despite various challenges confronting the sector, there have been successful cases of technological advancement in the industry. The main interest among scholars is improving technical and economic performance, digitalisation, and safety and environmental issues. The review revealed that most of the literature is fragmented despite growing interest from practitioners and academic scholars. Academic research to address the strategic objectives, including strengthening competitiveness (shipbuilding, hydrodynamics, incorporating artificial intelligence into the decision-making process, adopting blockchain technology to ensure transparency and security in the transactions, new technologies for fleets adaptation to climate change, more effective handling, maintenance and rehabilitation technologies), matching growth and changing trade patterns (intermodal solutions and new logistics approaches) are major causes of concerns. Originality/value By employing the approach of reviewing previously available literature on IWT review papers, this review complements the existing body of literature in the field of IWT by providing in a single paper a consolidation of recent state-of-the-art research on technological developments and challenges for inland waterways freight transport in the intermodal supply chain that can act as a single resource to keep researchers up to date with the most recent advancements in research in the domain of inland waterway freight transport. Additionally, this review identified gaps in the literature that may inspire new research themes in the field of IWT.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0104 Statistics; 0803 Computer Software; 1503 Business and Management; Business & Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Engineering
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2024 15:07
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 15:07
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/bij-03-2023-0164
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22216
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