The study explores the evolving relationship between the port and terminal industry and the financial sector. Since the financial industry has taken an active role in global economic affairs, understanding global trade and transportation requires more than ever a perspective about financial issues and their impacts on transport operations. Paradoxically, the recent analytical emphasis on the strategies of port operators has rarely focused on one of the fastest and most radical changes ever to affect the maritime and port industries. The paper argues that through the lenses of financial issues – financialisation – a unique dimension of the maritime industry can be understood. It analyses how a changing pattern in risk perception has supported a bubble in the period 2002-2008 and how financial interests in the industry have repositioned themselves since the start of the economic crisis in 2008. The analysis demonstrates how since then, the financial sector is – reluctantly – rediscovering the risks that are part of the maritime industry, notably those related to business cycles.
December 2010: The port study “The Financialisation of the Port and Terminal Industry: Revisiting risk and embeddedness”, conducted by Jean-Paul Rodrigue (Hofstra University, US), Theo Notteboom (ITMMA-University of Antwerp) and Athanasios Pallis (STT-University of the Aegean) will be published in a forthcoming issue of Maritime Policy and Management, the flagship journal of international shipping and port research.