X. Covid-19: A Global Catalyst of Maritime Digitalization?

Next to the permanent efforts of achieving more sustainability in global transportation, there is also the digital transformation as another rogue wave flooding over the maritime industry. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of management attention might have changed towards short term adjustments to cope with the completely unpredicted and unforeseen new situation. But also, in the long run, it is questionable whether COVID-19 may not act as a game-changer setting up new paradigms, strategies and business models for value creation within global supply chains. This will affect value creation in the global maritime industry and it might affect the approach towards mastering the long-term transformation of the industry. This session focusses on the aspects related to the digital transformation of the industry. It addresses the important relationship between the digitalization of the maritime sector and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We address three interrelated perspectives on the topic. 

  • First more global perspective aims at the potential impacts on the different business segments of the maritime industry. This relates to the strategies implied towards digitalization and it investigates the focus of maritime management and related policies.
  • The second perspective investigates the specific interrelation of the physical and informational elements within the maritime systems. COVID-19 apparently shifted the emphasis back again to the basics of capacity management and utilization and what creates value for actors in the maritime industry. We shall investigate, what drivers shall shape the value creation in the digital future; sources of entrepreneurship.
  • The third perspective investigates the impact on transport geography and the potential restructuring of transportation networks from the lens of digitalization; transport geography focus: supply chain disruptions of COVID-19 as an inhibitor or facilitating factor for the further development of Maritime Silk Road – opportunities for short sea shipping by nearshoring and digital innovations – we need here a good link to digital transformation, e.g. what role play digital capabilities in the competition of corridors and routes.
  • Specific sub-topics to be included.

We will present three themes under the headline above.

  1. Changing digital business strategies in the shipping world of (post-)COVID-19 – similarities and differences between the dynamics of three classical shipping segments: liner shipping, dry bulk shipping and tanker shipping, presented by Martin Jes Iversen
  2. Changing the interplay of the cyber vs. the physical – value creation models in the maritime industry; we could put here the Chinese new year: operant vs. operand question for containers – Günter Prockl, Hans-Joachim Schramm, Petr Kolar
  3. Changing the flows – shifting opportunities towards alternative routes and modes – the lens of digitalization – Petr Kolar, Hans Joachim Schramm, Günter Prockl


Dr. Martin Jes Iversen 

Copenhagen Business School


Dr. Günter Prockl

Copenhagen Business School