Industry 4.0 supporting logistics towards smart ports: Benefits, challenges and trends based on a systematic literature review

Juliana Basulo-Ribeiro, Leonor Teixeira


Purpose: The fourth industrial revolution has pushed companies, and even seaports, to adapt the way they operate, to remain competitive in the marketplace. Thus, ports are going from analog to digital, and are on their way to achieving the status of smart ports. So, the purpose of this paper is to analyse what is already known about smart ports.

Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review was conducted to identify the contributions of Industry 4.0 in seaport logistics (using the PRISMA method), based on studies present in the SCOPUS and Web of Science databases, both at the bibliometric and content level.

Findings: Through this method it was possible to identify the most used technology of industry 4.o in the smart ports context, the benefits, and challenges of the digital transformations in seaports, and also the world’s smartest port cities. Curiously, from the universe of studies found, few articles are concerned about the impacts of smart ports on the human factor and on the cities and municipalities where the port is located.

Originality: This study presents contributions both at the theoretical level (which increases knowledge about the reality of some of the ports considered smart), and at the practical level (which aims to help/encourage other ports to start/continue to become increasingly smart.


Industry 4.0, digital transformation, smart ports, logistics, sustainability

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience