PortEconomics celebrates the launching of PortReports, the new PortEconomics Discussion Reports series, aiming to enrich business and academic insights related to the port sector and to support policy-making by port profession.
In the first PortReport – prepared by Theo Notteboom, Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Jason Monios and Gordon Wilmsmeier – readers have the chance to identify types of distribution activities that ports are suitable locations for, and which of such activities are best suited to the respective hinterland.
The authors back their analysis with empirical evidence derived from a unique sample: a variety of regions in Europe, North America, South America, Southern Africa and Asia the report provides a unique overview of regional differences across the world, with the proposed framework taking into account geographical, economic and logistics settings.
A locational duality in port-related distribution activities is emerging. In some regions, distribution activities have moved from ports to inland locations, driven in part by ‘push factors’ such as port congestion and scarcity of land for container handling activities, or by ‘pull factors’ such as the growth of intermodal corridors, the influence of inland terminals and the changing economic geography in the hinterland. In other regions, ports retain their traditional role as centres of distribution and warehousing activity. More recently, the focus on ‘port-centric logistics’ is indicative that some regions are refocusing on ports as potential locations for large distribution centres. The result has been a growing competition, but also complementarity, between ports and inland locations concerning the location of distribution activities, driven not only by market forces but also by institutional settings and the governance relations between the actors involved.
The PortEconomics Discussion Report 04/2016 can be freely downloaded here.