Digital interoperability in logistics and supply chain management: state-of-the-art and research avenues towards Physical Internet

Shenle Pan, Damien Trentesaux, Duncan McFarlane, Benoit Montreuil, Eric Ballot, George Q. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Interoperability is playing an increasing role for today's logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) because of the trends of cooperation or coopetition. Especially, digital interoperability concerning data or information exchange becomes a key enabler for the next evolutions that will massively rely upon digitalization, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems. The notion of Physical Internet (PI) is one such evolution, an innovative worldwide logistic paradigm aimed at interconnecting and coordinating logistics networks for efficiency and sustainability. This paper investigates how digital interoperability can help interconnect logistics and supply networks as well as the operational solutions for sustainable development, and examines the new challenges and research opportunities for digital interoperability under the PI paradigm. To this end, we study the most relevant technologies for digital interoperability in LSCM, via a bibliometric analysis based on 208 papers published during 2010−2020. The results reveal that the present state-of-the-art solutions of digital interoperability are not fully aligned with PI requirements and show new challenges, research gaps and opportunities that need further discussion. Accordingly, several research avenues are suggested to advance research and applications in this area, and to achieve interconnection in logistics and supply networks for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103435
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometric review
  • Digitalization
  • Interconnection
  • Interoperability
  • Logistics
  • Physical internet
  • Research avenues
  • State-of-the-art
  • Supply Chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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