The Digitalization of Trade and Logistics



Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Global Studies and Geography Hofstra University


The growing preponderance of information technologies in maritime shipping has led to an array of buzz words that tend to be rather meaningless without a proper context. One of the most abused terms is ‘smart’ as applied to logistics, such as ‘smart supply chains’ or ‘smart port’. This gives an unproved judgment of value to technology (sentience?). Conversely, the term digitalization, which is more appropriate, relates to the integration of information technologies to the processes of transport management and operations. It concerns the bundling of transportation services to users through an information technology platform. Digitalization is a neutral term since it does not imply any specific value; there is no need to be smart…

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