Author:Paul Tae-Woo Lee, Kamonchanok Suthiwartnarueput, Kevin X Li, Ying-En Ge
Publication Date:10 Nov 2020
Special issue on Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Global Supply Chains
and International Logistics
Since China implemented the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, approximately 190
academic papers in the field of global supply chains, international logistics and
transportation field in association with the BRI have been published in more than 70 SSCI/
SCI/SCIE indexed journals in the period of 20132020 (Lee et al., 2020). The research trends in
the above field are broadly categorized into four groups: (1) multimodal transportation in
association with the Maritime Silk Road, (2) railway transportation in association with
sustainability, supply chain management and cross-border issues, (3) the contribution of
infrastructure to international trade and regional economy and (4) structural change in
energy supply chain development in association with carbon emission. This special issue of
the International Journal of Logistics Management (IJLM)onImpacts of the Belt and Road
Initiative on Global Supply Chains and International Logisticsaims to expand the literature on
the impacts of the BRI on global supply chains and international logistics in tandem with
multimodal transportation. This special issue collected choice papers from two sources: one
from this journal submission site and the other from the 4th Belt and Road Initiative
Conference in association with the 9th Asian Logistics Round Table Conference held in
Bangkok, Thailand, on 13 August 2019. The event was co-organized by Chulalongkorn
University in Thailand, Ocean College at Zhejiang University in China, and Jungseok
Research Institute of International Logistics and Trade at Inha University in Korea.
This special issue has four choice papers to meet its theme. In the first paper entitled
Assessing the mar ket niche of Eurasi an rail freight in th e belt and road era, Zh ang and
Schramm (2020) assess total logistics costs amongst freight transport modes, i.e. rail, sea,
air and sea/air transport, along the Belt and Road. In doing so, a trade-off model of transit
time and transport costs in tandem with scenario analysis based on cargo type have been
applied from a shippers viewpoint, which generates four scenarios with a combination of
cargo value and time sensitivity. One of the findings is that in case of shipping time-
sensitive goods with cargo values ranging from $US1.23/kg to $US10.78/kg, rail transport
mode is cheaper than all the other transport modes, and its total transportation time is much
faster than sea transport mode. Rail transport is an alternative mode for time sensitive
goods, which are average cargo value unnecessarily worth to be transported by air. It
contributes to promoting global supply chains between Asia and Europe and bringing
agility to them. However, in interpreting the preference of rail transport compared to the
other modes, we need to bear in mind the subsidy given by local governments for Chinese
Railway Express (CRE) under the BRI, which has motivated railway platforms in major
cities to attract block train cargoes (Yang et al., 2020). Therefore, we need to keep an eye on
the Chinese government policy on the subsidy for CRE. Zhang and Schramn also provides
readers with valuable information on the CRE, such as major market player, bottlenecks,
and freight and transit time data sources.
In the second paper entitled The determinants of cargo and eco-efficiencies of global
container shipping companies, Kuo-Cheng Kuo, Wen-Min Liu, Qian Long Kweh, and
Minh Hieu Le (2020) evaluate cargo and eco-efficiency of global container shipping companies
(CSCs) as well as explore the determinants of the CSCsefficiencies. It contributes to initiating
the relationship between the business and environmental issues in shipping industry in terms
of efficiency measurement through the data envelop analysis (DEA) from top 10 global CSCs.
Since a container ship at present is getting bigger and bigger with an enormous capacity in
The International Journal of
Logistics Management
Vol. 31 No. 4, 2020
pp. 725-727
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/IJLM-10-2020-367

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