Industry 4.0 in maritime supply chain

Using Industry 4.0 technologies to develop appropriate buyer-supplier relationships to mitigate maritime supply chain network disruptions

Degree type


Closing date

10 October 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Industry 4.0 is a broad term used to refer to the fourth Industrial Revolution. It integrates the relationships between workers, systems, objects, and sections of an organization, supported by various applications such as the internet of things (IoT), cyber-physical systems (CPSs), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data analytics (BDA). In recent years, digitisation, automation and advanced analytics are causing transformation in global competitions by enabling firms to manage their supply chain network (SCN). A global SCN consists of multiple interconnected buyers and suppliers of products or services who are located in different geographical areas. Using various applications of industry 4.0 can affect the way that buyers and suppliers interact by facilitating and integrating the processes and systems leading to better cooperation and communication with each other in a new intelligent way.

The substantial disruptions of the material flow in the global SCNs can result in significant losses that may threaten firm’s SCN. For example, the COVID-19 crisis has created short and long-term negative impacts on supply shortages and disrupting supply operations around the world. To reduce the negative effects of the disruptions, many firms have changed the way they interact with their SCN members. Particularly, the disruption has profound impacts on suppliers (regardless of their tiers), buyers, and how buyer-supplier relationships are governed in a maritime SCN. Maritime SCNs have been responsible for the vast majority of global trade and are becoming increasingly complex and dynamic. Therefore, maritime SCNs can be significantly vulnerable to disruptions.

Since digital technologies can have a positive impact on mitigating disruptions, many firms have decided to implement various industry 4.0 applications to manage their maritime SCN. This has transformed the relationship between buyers and suppliers within the maritime SCN. However, there is still a strong need to explore different aspects of industry 4.0 applications in managing the relationships within the maritime SCNs to mitigate the disruptions. Therefore, this project will address this issue by investigating the impact of industry 4.0 technologies on developing appropriate relationships between buyers and suppliers to mitigate maritime SCN disruptions.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Hadi Rezaei Vandchali


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Good understanding of supply chain management and procurement functions
  • Evidence of high level written and communication skills expected for doctoral study
  • Good analytical skills
  • Work or research experience in supply chain management

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Good knowledge of Industry 4.0 technologies and big data analytics

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Hadi Rezaei Vandchali to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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