Port system development is a key theme in port geography literature. Recent decades have brought a rise in container terminal development at estuarine, coastal and offshore port locations, in part driven by scale increases in vessel size.
The latest port study of PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom examines how container ports located upstream on rivers use processes of adaptive capacity building in an attempt to remain competitive in port systems. Theo links the development path of upstream seaports to a range of economic, technological, social and political factors. When combined, these factors shape the willingness and capacity of an upstream seaport to adapt to changing conditions such as an increasing demand for nautical accessibility. The case study results on Antwerp and Hamburg show that the discussion on the future of these upstream seaports cannot be detached from broader public policy and stakeholder management concerns and the influences of retention mechanisms, power, politics and collective action by the port community.
The port study is published in the 54th volume of the academic journal Journal of Transport Geography and can be downloaded using the following link.
Anyone who clicks on the link until August 18, 2016, will be taken to the final version of the paper for free. No sign up or registration is needed.