Global supply chains are built on organizational, information, and logistics networks. Ports are connected via these networks and also need to connect these networks. Synchromodality is an innovative concept for container transportation, and the port plays an important role in connecting the various transportation networks. The large number of global supply chains that use the port as a hub require added value, and this can be provided by interconnecting the three types of networks, for example via the port community system. Global supply chains can be more sustainable when interconnected networks create visibility, together with the proper mechanisms to support value creation, not just monetary value, but also other values such as security and environmental footprint.

The research required to further develop these topics make use of quantitative modeling from the field of operations management. This inaugural speech touches upon a number of these research challenges. The ambitions and plans of the chair “Ports in Global Networks” concern three interrelated research topics: (1) Synchronizing transportation networks; (2) Connecting sea ports to global supply chains; and (3) Coordinating global supply chains for sustainability. The educational program involves both the RSM MSc program Supply Chain Management, but also the Executive Master Customs and Supply Chain Compliance. The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus center Metropolis & Mainport fosters the interuniversity collaboration. The SmartPort initiative enables substantial collaboration with the port of Rotterdam. The chair has the ambition to play a key role in both Metropolis & Mainport and SmartPort.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Zuidwijk, R. (2015, November 13). Are we connected?. ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/79091