Managing supply chain uncertainty by building flexibility in container port capacity: a logistics triad perspective and the COVID-19 case

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The contemporary supply chains in which container ports logistics operate are characterized by increased uncertainties driven by a range of factors such as socioeconomic factors and changing supply chain strategies in response to market dynamics. Recently, the occurrences and effects of these factors on global economic activities, and thus container port logistics, have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enabling flexibility in port logistics is more important than ever to navigate uncertainties, now and in the post-COVID-19 world. This paper seeks to develop a conceptual framework to holistically capture different dimensions of container port logistics capacity. A systematic literature review method is employed to formulate a conceptual framework depicting the structure of various elements of capacity and the interplay among the logistics triad of transport carriers, port operators, and logistics service providers whose interactions and service capacities constitute the overall capacity of the system. The study reveals four dimensions of port logistics capacity, namely seaside interface, platform, landside interface, and system-wide, each of which consists of subelements that can be distinguished into static or adjustable. The proposed framework provides insights corresponding to the logistics triad roles and interactions within the system for understanding uncertainty characteristics, assessing various elements of capacity, and identifying potential levers to build flexibility into these interrelated capacity elements.

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Maritime Economics and Logistics

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