|Business process management in the port sector: a literature review|
In: Maritime Business Review. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd: United Kingdom. e-ISSN 2397-3757
Business process management; Electronic data exchange; Electronic singlewindow; Port community systems; Port effectiveness; Port efficiency
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Purpose This paper aims to review the application of business process management (BPM) in the port sector. Its objective is to understand whether BPM principles are applied in the port sector, the role of the procedural factor in port performance evaluation and whether electronic data interchange systems have been used for process management purposes. Design/methodology/approach The objective of this research is to conduct a critical review of existing academic literature in the domain of BPM and its application in the ports sector. This paper assessed more than a hundred recent publications, from key journals in the domains of port economics, BPM and information technology. The two principle platforms used are the online databases of the World Bank Group and the University of Antwerp. Findings Academic literature reviewed reveals a partial application of BPM in the port and maritime sector. BPM related research is conducted via the utilization of modeling algorithms or optimization and simulation tools. There exists evidence that electronic data interchange (EDI) data extracted from EDI platforms can be used to model inter-organizational business processes in several industries. Yet, to the best of the author's knowledge, no research investigates Port Community System (PCS) or single window (SW) data utilization for BPM purposes, although PCS and SW benefits are well documented. Port performance is largely assessed based on the production theory, and limited number of studies use elements of procedural efficiency as variables for their analysis. Originality/value The holistic application of BPM has been researched in numerous industries but in the port sector. This paper constitutes the first section of an original research study to define key components, assumptions and constraints for developing a comprehensive BPM framework in the port sector.