Special Issue "Supply Chain Digitalization"

A special issue of Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (ISSN 0718-1876). This special issue belongs to the section "Entrepreneurship, Innovation, FinTech Accounting and Industry 4.0".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Danny C.K. Ho
Guest Editor
Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hang Shin Link, Siu Lek Yuen, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
Interests: sustainable supply chain management; green transportation; neural network applications in business
Dr. Tsz Leung Yip
Guest Editor
Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Interests: ports and terminals; commercial shipping; transport risk; low carbon logistics; transport research; transport policy studies; spatial analysis

Special Issue Information

The COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of trade conflicts, and unstable geopolitics have jointly created major disruptions to the national, regional and world economies, driving the decoupling and restructuring of global supply chains. Yet, the advancement of digital technologies has presented unprecedented opportunities for businesses to improve internal operations and integrate inter-organizational processes, seemingly with geographically dispersed partners. It is more critical than ever before to understand how digital technologies enable better management of global supply chains in a turbulent and complex business environment.

To better satisfy customers and achieve sustainable development through a digital supply chain, the collaboration of multiple parties and the application of relevant digital technologies that integrate online and offline processes across organizational and geographic boundaries is required. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, automation technologies, and connected devices are some of the emerging digital technologies that offer tremendous benefits in sourcing, production, warehousing, transportation, retailing and recycling. For example, in the retail industry, blockchain technology can meet the growing need for higher product and supply transparency that enables end-to-end traceability and communicates safety and quality. Demand forecasting can be improved by big data analytics in which advanced ML algorithms with self-learning ability are developed to recognize demand patterns, learn from a dearth of historical and unseen data, and become smarter in demand prediction over time. AI improves risk management for the supply chain by applying ML models to assess supplier risks, detect and monitor potential risks, and provide alerts and predict supply chain risks. Warehouse operations like order allocation, inventory control management, order picking, and material handling can be optimized by extended reality (XR) tools like smart glasses to fulfill high demand e-commerce orders in increasingly shorter timeframes. Industrial robots increasingly take up labor-intensive and dangerous tasks in material handling, processing operations, and assembly and inspection in various sectors. AI-based visual inspection for defect detection significantly enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of process quality control than the conventional human visual method. The trend of increasing the connection of vehicles and assets to the cloud gives birth of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem surrounding shipping, logistics and transportation. Powered by 5G mobile network technologies and big data analytics, the interconnected transport ecosystem enables real-time location tracking, route optimization, and assisted and autonomous driving, saving costs and reducing emissions. Robotic process automation (RPA) software partially or fully automates business processes that involve manual, rule-based, and repetitive human activities, freeing workers up to perform higher value work.

The interconnection of digital objects and electronic devices, process automation, information transparency, governance and security, the reduction of human intervention, and decentralized decisions are increasing their importance and transforming how all parts of a supply chain function in its context. There is a pressing need for countries and companies, especially those with weak infrastructure and inadequate competencies, to embrace digital transformation to survive “the new normal” that characterizes a highly volatile and complex environment. This Special Issue on “Supply Chain Digitalization” aims to gather a collection of articles that showcase how different approaches of digital transformation have been applied in various stages of global supply chains spanning multiple sectors and countries to achieve sustainable development.


  • Digital transformations
  • Cloud-based services
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Extended reality technologies
  • Digital talents
  • Digital methods
  • Digital leadership
  • Digital innovation
  • Digital footprint
Dr. Danny C.K. Ho
Dr. Tsz Leung Yip
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • supply chain management
  • digital transformation
  • digitalization
  • virtualization
  • emerging technologies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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