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Special issue

Connecting the World through Global Shipping Networks

Journal of Shipping and Trade welcomes submissions to the new thematic series for Connecting the World through Global Shipping Networks.

Most international trade in manufactured goods, as well as an increasing share of commodities, is transported by container shipping services, provided mostly by “liner” shipping companies. The liner services form a network that connects practically all regions of the world with each-other, increasingly involving transshipment in seaports that act as nodes in the network.

Over the last decade, data and research on the global liner shipping network has expanded significantly. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published country-level indices, and the term “connectivity” is increasingly used to characterize aspects of a country’s trade competitiveness. Connectivity has been described through different concepts, such as competition, fleet deployment, economies of scale, centrality, or the number of required transshipments to export from country A to country B. Related areas of research go into more detail, covering the port level, hinterland connectivity, resilience and other aspects of network analysis. Also, the concept of connectivity may be applied to other types of shipping services, such as Ro-Ro, or even tramp shipping.

This Thematic Series on “Connecting the World through Global Shipping Networks” aims to publish high-quality research papers that employ a variety of rigorous and pertinent research methodologies supported with empirical evidence to examine the challenges of global shipping connectivity. Broad themes may focus on alternative measures of connectivity, describing and explaining the structure of maritime shipping networks, and analyzing the impact of connectivity on trade and trade costs.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Evolution of shipping networks 
  • Network structure and competiveness 
  • Measurement of connectivity
  • Shipping networks and trade intensity 
  • Connectivity and freight rates 
  • Connectivity and trade costs market structure
  • Governance
  • Resilience of networks
  • The interrelation between demand and connectivity
  • Options for policy makers to enhance a port’s or country’s connectivity


Submission instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the Instructions for Authors for Journal of Shipping and Trade. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the Journal of Shipping and Trade submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate section in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on Connecting the World through Global Shipping Networks. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.


Deadline for submissions:

28 February, 2015 


Guest Editors

Jan Hoffmann, UNCTAD

Gordon Wilmsmeier, ECLAC

Y.H. Venus Lun, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

  • Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient
  • High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article
  • No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage
  • Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed

For editorial enquiries please contact

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