Stakeholders’ perceptions on the introduction of additive manufacturing (AM) in the maritime spare parts supply chain


  • Evanthia Kostidi Department of Shipping Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Nikitas Nikitakos Department of Shipping Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Theodore Lilas Department of Shipping Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Dimitrios Dalaklis Dimitrios Dalaklis, Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration, World Maritime University, Sweden



Three-Dimensional (3D) printing, Additive Manufacturing, Spare part supply chain, Maritime transport industry


Spare parts supply chain (SPSC) plays a crucial role in keeping ship machinery running. This study, rooted in a thorough literature review encompassing both academic and industry research, as well as established standards, seeks to shed light on stakeholder perspectives regarding the integration of Additive Manufacturing (AM) into the maritime spare parts supply chain (SPSC). The aim is to address fundamental questions critical to shaping the maritime spare parts supply chain with AM. The research employs a questionnaire-based methodology, deemed the most appropriate tool for capturing stakeholder perspectives, motivations, and concerns. Participants are categorized as “end-users” and “suppliers” of spare parts. The end-users in the maritime SPSC encompass individuals both on board vessels and in onshore offices, ranging from ship owners to engineers, surveyors, and staff in various departments. On the upstream side of the SPSC, the study engages with manufacturers and suppliers of spare parts, including original equipment manufacturers and third-party subcontractors, as well as various types of distributors and service providers. The research concludes with a comprehensive understanding of the maritime industry’s engagement with AM, balancing cost-efficiency with the preservation of service quality and operational readiness. It identifies significant barriers, such as quality assurance, the need for skills and knowledge, digital asset management, copyright protection, and equipment availability and costs. This study marks a pioneering exploration of stakeholder perspectives within the maritime SPSC concerning the integration of AM technology. It underscores the industry’s eagerness to embrace digital transformation while highlighting key challenges that must be addressed for a successful transition; this is clearly an added value from a practical perspective. As the maritime sector stands at the precipice of technological evolution, understanding these perspectives is integral to steering towards a more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable future.


  • The study delves into the perspectives of diverse stakeholders in the maritime Spare Parts Supply Chain, and how they approach Additive Manufacturing
  • It reveals a comprehensive understanding of the industry’s commitment to cost-efficiency while maintaining service quality and operational readiness
  • The research identifies significant barriers hindering the integration of Additive Manufacturing
  • This study pioneers shedding light on the industry's enthusiasm for digital transformation and highlighting critical challenges that need addressing
  • The findings provide practical insights for the maritime sector as it navigates technological evolution


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How to Cite

Kostidi, E., Nikitakos, N., Lilas, T. ., & Dalaklis, D. . (2023). Stakeholders’ perceptions on the introduction of additive manufacturing (AM) in the maritime spare parts supply chain. Maritime Technology and Research, 6(2), 268186.