Logistics Trends and Innovations in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis Using Text Mining

Niels Zondervan, Frazen Tolentino-Zondervan, Dennis Moeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many companies in the logistics sector to innovate, or even transform their business and underlying processes. Closing borders, limited supply and manpower, and continuous changes in regulations challenged many logistics firms to innovate. This study analyzes 5098 abstracts of logistics articles using text mining to identify and to quantify the changes in logistics trends and innovations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if these trends and innovations were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Results indicate that (1) resiliency is an ongoing trend in logistics and has shown increasing importance during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) there appears to be acceleration in digitalization trend in logistics based on emerging focus on blockchain, Internet of Things, data, drones, robots, and unmanned vehicles during COVID-19 pandemic, and (3) there seems to be no evidence of acceleration in sustainability due to COVID-19 despite an observed shift in sustainability trends in terms of bioenergy and biofuel before COVID-19 pandemic to low-carbon, hydrogen and electric vehicles during COVID-19 pandemic. This paper recommends logistics firms, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to analyze their readiness to adopt digitalization in terms of data, resources, and technology via, e.g., the use of a maturity scan, to contribute to sustainable and resilient logistics and to make sure that they remain competitive and future-proof. Policy makers can provide support to these SMEs by providing information, funding, and template solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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