During the Irish Ports Association 2013 Conference, held in Dublin, PortEconomics co-director Τhanos Pallis presented the lessons that European ports and policy makers might learn from cases of countries that failed to conclude port reforms, extracting lessons from the Greek case
The 2013 IPA conference brought together an elite panel of speakers that looked at recent policy developments in Ireland and beyond, as well as presented examples from around the world as to how ports have adapted and responded to changing regulatory environments.
Thanos discribed the long journey of the Greek state to reform the Greek port system, in the light of the country's program restructuring the national economy. The emphasis of the presentation is on the lessons that were learnt during the first major concession of a container terminal in Greece to a private operator (the COSCO subsidiary SEP), the remarkably slow progress of the country's privitisation program, the remaining challenges, the need to focus on labour reforms, and not least the necessity to accommodate a demand that has few, if any, commonalities with the demand of the past.
All these under the prism that other EU member-states as well as the European port policies might be informed by failures, successes and progress of what happened in other European countries attempting to reform their ports.
You might freely download the presentation @ PortEconomics : 2013-Challenges to port restructuring
The new governance structure of French seaports is the theme of the port study presented by PortEconomics member Pierre Cariou along with Dagnet Frederic, from Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, France and Fedi Laurent, Euromed Management, France during the annual conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists - IAME 2013, that was held in Marseilles, France.
France undertook a large port reform in 2008 that entered into application in 2010–2011. It mostly applies a landlord port model to major French seaports, with the prediction that doing so will restore French port competiveness.
The port study presents the 2008 port reform, discusses why it was needed, and details how new governing bodies are sharing their responsibilities amongst themselves. To this end, a textual analysis of the agenda items for the governing bodies of the Marseille Port Authority, created since 2011, provides a means to compare the items discussed by the former management bodies. The study identifies a trend, in which the supervisory board focuses on global issues, the advisory board addresses local issues, and the board of directors considers internal issues.
You may freely download the paper @PortEconomics: IAME2013-New governance structure of French seaports-Cariou et.al.-Paper
The performance effects of the corporatisation of Port of Rotterdam Authority is the theme of a new port study conducted by PortEconomics co-director Peter de Langen, in collaboration with Christiaan Heij.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is a publicly owned but corporatized port development company. In 2004, this organisation was transformed from a municipal department to an independently operating company. The corporatisation intended to improve the overall performance of the port of Rotterdam. Relevant performance indicators to evaluate the effect of this corporatisation include market share, turnover, operating costs, profits, and investments. These indicators are evaluated for two periods, one prior to the corporatisation (1997-2003) and the other afterwards (2005-2011). The comparison of these two periods shows that corporatisation has led to significant performance improvements. This finding is relevant for the ongoing discussion on port governance models.
The research paper is now publised by the Econometric Institute of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, in as part of its series Econometric Institute Reports.
You can freely download the report @PortEconomics: Performance effects of the corporatisation of Port of Rotterdam Authority
Τhe territorial trajectories of port governance reform is the theme of a new port study by PortEconomics associate member Francesco Paola, in in collaboration with Jean Debrie and Valérie Lavaud-Letilleul.
The evolution of public-private relationships has driven many economic sectors to undergo de-centralisation and deregulation. Across these transformations, an appreciation of governance is key to understanding the process. In recent years, seaports have experienced dramatic changes in governance reported in academic and policy literature. The World Bank, for example, outlined a well known taxonomy of major governance models. However, this literature does not capture of the specificities of local environments, or "embed" the changes in specific institutional and economic contexts. This study analyses the embeddedness in ports and their associated governance structures. The study analyse and discuss (i) the complexity and the heterogeneity of the institutional framework, (ii) the multi-layered decisional chain, (iii) the geo-economic dimension, and (iv) and the socio-cultural environment of reformed ports. The paper takes a dynamic view of port reform trajectories and illustrate the theoretical discussion with a comparison of ports in France and Italy, showing the effects of local forces in shaping general national port reform schemes, and examining the relationship between general global trends and embeddedness.
The study is published in a special issue of the scholarly journal Journal of Transport Geography on the theme of "Institutions and the Transformation of Transport Nodes" that has been edited by PortEconomics members Adolf Ng and Thanos Pallis, in collaboration with Prof. Peter Hall (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver CA).
You might download the authors' version of the study @ PortEconomics: Shaping port governance: the territorial trajectories of reform
Read more about the special issue: Institutions and the Transformation of Transport Nodes
During his lecture, Patrick focused on the governance implications of the operational, spatial and societal dimensions of port developments. Patrick concluded presenting an overview of the latest developments of the European Port Policy.
Patrick's lecture is available @ PortEconomics: Port Development in Europe
Following the lecture at OWIT Hampton Road, Virginia Norfolk: (from left) Prof. Wayne Talley, director of the Old Dominion Maritime Institute, Patrick Verhoeven, Sara Russel and Larry Filer.
The Apulian distinguished lectures series are held in Brindisi, Italy, and are a joint initiative by the Region Puglia, the City of Brindisi, the University of Salento and the Port Authority of Brindisi. The project is co-ordinated by the President of the Port of Brindisi Prof. Hercules Haralambides.
Patrick shared with participants views on a subject which is close to his heart, both in my daily activities for the European Sea Ports Organisation, which cares for the common interests of more than 800 port authorities in Europe, and, also in his academic work at the University of Antwerp.
In particular Patrick discussed three issues:
- the evolution of the port concept;
- the changing role of port authorities and the future options they have;
- the governance factors that influence the performance of port authorities.
You can freely download the presentation @ PortEconomics: Governance of European seaports – Economic and societal challenges.
The speech provided an overview on the major sources of conflicts within the port domain, also depicting the most critical phases in the evolution of port governance settings in France and Italy.
The Conference was organised within the research project GeCOPe (2009-2011) coordinated by Dr. Eric Foulquier (Université de la Bretagne Occidentale) and it was held at the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime in Nantes (France).