Evolution and research trends of container shipping

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

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-674
Number of pages21
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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