Call for papers on “Autonomous shipping: Implications for maritime supply chains”

Special Issue: Call for papers on “Autonomous shipping: Implications for maritime supply chains”

Journal: Maritime Economics & Logistics

Guest Editors:

Ziaul Haque Munim, University of South-Eastern Norway.

Hercules Haralambides, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and Dalian Maritime University.


Several Autonomous Ship (AS) prototypes have already been developed and successfully tested. The majority of extant AS literature focuses on the technological developments of AS, but studies on the implications of AS for the maritime supply chain are still rare (Munim, 2019). Kretschmann, Burmeister, and Jahn (2017) conclude on the economic feasibility of AS, and Munim (2019) reviews the potential economic, environmental and social benefit of AS. However, the benefits of AS need further in-depth investigation, for any technological advance will have little value if the benefits are not enjoyed by the shipowners. Hence, adaptation barriers to AS is one of the topics worth further investigation. Studies discuss barriers from the regulatory, safety, training, social and human-technology perspective, and some question the commercial feasibility of AS (Hogg & Ghosh, 2016; Kim, Joung, Jeong, & Park, 2020; Ringbom, 2019). Besides, the successful implementation of AS is complex and involves many industrial sectors including engineering, finance, transport and logistics, regulatory authorities, and insurance service providers (Ghaderi, 2020). Therefore, careful exploration of business models and regulatory aspects for AS need attention to overcome the challenges. Also, risk analysis of autonomous shipping and development of port facilities for handling AS has been studied little.  

We look for original manuscripts on “autonomous shipping implications for maritime supply chains” that would make significant contribution to the maritime literature and industry. Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Economic, environmental and social benefits of AS
  • The cost of owning and operating AS
  • Merchant shipping feasibility of AS
  • Barriers to AS adaptation
  • Business models for AS
  • Innovative uses of AS in the maritime supply chain
  • Implications of AS for economics of scale
  • Risk analysis of autonomous shipping
  • AS handling requirements in ports
  • Regulatory challenges for AS

Practical Issues:

Abstracts (200-300 words) should be submitted to Ziaul Haque Munim ( by December 15, 2020. Following positive feedback on the abstract, full papers should be submitted to the above email by April 30, 2021. In case of difficulty in respecting the submission deadline, the guest editors would appreciate knowing in advance for purposes of production planning. Finally, non-native English authors should submit their typescript for linguistics review, preferably by a professional English editor.

Key Dates:

  • December 15, 2020: Deadline for abstract submission.
  • April 30, 2021: Deadline for full paper submission.
  • June 15, 2021: Referee reports to authors.
  • July 15, 2021: Revisions returned to editors.
  • August 15, 2021: Editorial decision
  • Publication: As soon as possible thereafter. 

If you have any queries, please contact Ziaul Haque Munim at (


Ghaderi, H. (2020). Wider implications of autonomous vessels for the maritime industry: mapping the unprecedented challenges. In Advances in Transport Policy and Planning: Elsevier:

Hogg, T., & Ghosh, S. (2016). Autonomous merchant vessels: examination of factors that impact the effective implementation of unmanned ships. Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs, 8(3), 206-222.

Kim, M., Joung, T.-H., Jeong, B., & Park, H.-S. (2020). Autonomous shipping and its impact on regulations, technologies, and industries. Journal of International Maritime Safety, Environmental Affairs, and Shipping, 4(2), 17-25.

Kretschmann, L., Burmeister, H.-C., & Jahn, C. (2017). Analyzing the economic benefit of unmanned autonomous ships: An exploratory cost-comparison between an autonomous and a conventional bulk carrier. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 25, 76-86.

Munim, Z. H. (2019). Autonomous ships: a review, innovative applications and future maritime business models. Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, 20(4), 266-279.

Ringbom, H. (2019). Regulating autonomous ships—concepts, challenges and precedents. Ocean Development & International Law, 50(2-3), 141-169.

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