Current strategic planning for sustainability in international shipping

Xiaofang Wu, Luoping Zhang, Meifeng Luo

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability is a necessity for the future earth. As international shipping, the lifeblood of the global economy, moves toward door-to-door, strategic planning for sustainability of such movements becomes extremely important and challenging. Extant research on strategic planning for sustainability in shipping is rare. This study adopts a structured literature review in conjunction with content analysis to identify whether the existing strategic planning encourages sustainability in international shipping. A broad review of maritime logistics is also conducted to understand whether its strategic planning contributes to sustainability. Key findings include (1) the most strategic planning in shipping is limited to “port-to-port”; (2) the efforts of strategic planning toward sustainability in shipping are fragmented; (3) maritime logistics represents an active research area but lags behind in strategic planning; (4) proactive efforts to encourage green or sustainable maritime logistics have emerged; and (5) the research gaps include the distinction between the terms of sustainability, “green,” and “sustainable,” and the lack of an appropriate approach, methods, and a collaborative research-practice network of strategic planning for sustainability in international shipping. The findings suggest directions for future research to make international shipping fit for the sustainability challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1729-1747
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Maritime logistics
  • Shipping
  • Strategic planning
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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