Today’s world economies are connected through intercontinental supply chains, consisting of a combination of land and sea transport and using terminals and warehouses as nodal points. Containerization has lowered transportation and handling costs substantially and has allowed international trade to reach today’s high levels. In search of lower costs, companies have looked for increasing economies of scale in larger ships and in terminal automation, driven by advances in information technology. Yet these developments have led to new problems due to the complexity of automated systems. Bottlenecks have shifted from sea to land transport, while environmental pressures encouraged the development of intermodal transport and slow steaming.

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Journal Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal
Dekker, R, de Koster, M.B.M, & Kim, K.H. (2017). Maritime and container logistics. Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal, 29(1). doi:10.1007/s10696-017-9281-y