Impact of 3D printing on car shipping supply chain logistics in the Middle East

Biniam Tekle Teweldebrhan, Praveen Maghelal, Abdulla Galadari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Three-dimensional printing (3DP) will lead to future changes in the structure and supply chain operation of businesses. While prevailing studies focus on qualitative assessments, this study quantitatively estimates 3DP impact on the maritime shipping volume and fleet type by (i) estimating the shipping volume reduction due to the mainstreaming of 3DP, and (ii) identifying the shipping fleet types that might be impacted by the change in the supply chain. The supply chain of the automotive industry in the Middle Eastern (ME) region was considered, and different statistical forecasting tools and linear programming models were applied to predict the demand for vehicles and quantify shipping volume reduction. Using a range of 3D printers (1–10), a 26–39% reduction in ton-miles of shipping by 2040 was predicted. Additionally, a 29–45% possible change in the volume of shipping from car carrier (roll-on/roll-off) fleets to bulk cargo fleet types was also predicted. This study also identified potential 3DP plant locations in the ME region ascertaining the potential loss and benefit that can be gained by the maritime shipping industry. It helps shipping manufacturers, operators, and owners consider future demand in terms of the quantity and types of fleets.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)181-196
    Number of pages16
    JournalAsian Journal of Shipping and Logistics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2022


    • Additive Manufacturing
    • Automotive
    • Logistics
    • Maritime
    • Supply Chain
    • Transportation


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