Last week, ESPO launched its Port Performance Review, which addresses the socio-economic impact of ports, environmental impact, the intermodal connectivity of the EU port system and general market and governance trends in ports across Europe. Port authorities in Europe are kindly invited to contribute before 15 April.
The data collected will feed the second edition of the Port Performance Dashboard, which was initiated in 2012 as part of the European Commission co-funded PPRISM project.
The indicators to be monitored are the outcome of the work done by ESPO in collaboration with five academic partners, led by PortEconomics co-directors Thanos Pallis, Theo Notteboom and Peter de Langen, PortEconomiccs member Micheal Dooms, and Prof. Chris Wooldrige.
ESPO has been periodically running similar types of surveys since 1996 and that has allowed the tracking of progress and positive trends regarding the performance of the sector over time. The reporting on those positive trends gives credibility to the sector and provides evidence of the progress that can be achieved through the European port authorities' commitment to voluntary self-regulation.Individual port responses will be kept strictly confidential. Only aggregated data at European level will be analysed and reported.
The second edition of the Port Performance Dashboard will be presented at the ESPO Annual Conference in Varna on 30 and 31 May and will then be made available to all ports. The environmental component of this review, the ESPO Environmental Review 2013 is addressed separately through the EcoPorts website, the ESPO dedicated environmental website.
READ MORE ABOUT THE EUROPEAN PORT SECTOR PERFORMANCE DASHBOARD
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
The School of Industrial Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate to be supervised by PortEconomics co-director Prof. dr. Peter de Langen (Chair Cargo Transport & Logistics), in the area of Operations Management.
The selected candidate will work withing the group Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control (OPAC) conducting research in the area of Operations Management, with specific emphasis on:
- Planning and Control in Manufacturing, Services, and Supply Chains;
- Distribution Logistics;
- Maintenance and Reliability;
- Finance and Accounting, oriented towards operational processes
Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. All research is embedded in Beta, the KNAW-recognized research school for Operations Management & Logistics.
The Chair Cargo Transport & Logistics is financed by the Province North Brabant and engages in industry- and policy oriented research in the field of freight transport and logistics. The current vacancy is for a PhD student that wants to do research on the crossroads of theory and practice. Given the required interaction with industry we look for a hands on and goal oriented candidate. Key qualities are: creative, self-starter, initiative, goal oriented, and cooperative.
The OPAC offers a PhD position in a strong research group, with strong links to the industry as well as other leading international universities. A stay abroad is potentially part of the PhD project. Also OPAC offers a strong supervisory team that is committed to innovative and high quality research. This environment enables a candidate to excel in research.
The PhD student is expected to do research that leads to academic papers and after four years in a PhD. The precise research topic needs to be defined jointly by the Province of Noord-Brabant, the promoters and the PhD candidate. Broadly speaking, the topic will explore the development of new intermodal services (see attached details). The candidate also participates in the PhD education program. A small part of the position involves teaching in courses offered by the group.
For the PhD candidate position, the applicant should have completed (or be close to completion of) a Master's degree in operations management, operations research, econometrics, mathematics, or industrial engineering, with a solid background in quantitative research methods. The candidate's file should demonstrate evidence of the ability to interact with industry, since this is a key part of each project. Ability to speak Dutch is appreciated, fluency in English is required.
Conditions of employment
- a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious University;
- a PhD appointment for a period of 4 years with target start date May 1 2013;
- gross salary is in the range of €28.500 - €36.500 per annum (on a full-time basis), this includes 8%
- holiday allowance and 8.3% end of year allowance.
- a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses,
- savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities)
More information about the OPAC group, Eindhoven University of Technology, can be found at http://w3.ieis.tue.nl/en/groups/opac/.
The institutional plasticity and path dependence in seaports is the theme of a new port study by PortEconomics co-directors Theo Notteboom and Peter de Langen, in collaboration with Wouter Jacobs, associate member of PortEconomics.
The study deals with path dependence in seaport governance. A central notion in this respect is lock-in. Economic geographers have recently started to reconsider the deterministic perspective on lock-in and developed the concept of institutional plasticity. Such plasticity is the result of actions of actors to purposefully 'recombine and convert or reinterpret institutions for their new objectives or transfer institutions to different contexts' (Strambach, 2010). This concept is applied to seaports, where so far, path dependence and lock-in have not been studied in detail. Our main conclusion is that a process of institutional stretching takes place when port authorities see a need to develop new capabilities and activities. In this process new layers are added to existing arrangements, gradually leading to a formalized governance reform but without breaking out of the existing path of development.
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 Adolf and Thanos in collaboration with Prof. Peter Hall (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver CA).
You might download the authors' version of the study @ PortEconomics: Institutional plasticity and path dependence in seaports: Interactions between institutions, port governance reforms and port authority routines
Read more about the special issue: Institutions and the Transformation of Transport Nodes
PortEconomics co-directors Peter de Langen, Theo Notteboom and Thanos Pallis are the authors of the first PortEconomics editorial published in the Port Technology International Magazine, marking the inauguration of the PortEconomics and Port Technology International 'partnership in publishing'.
In their editorial entitled "The Quality of Port Infrastructure ranking: Some insights" Peter, Theo and Thanos discuss the port infrastructure rankings provided by the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In sports, and increasingly in business, rankings abound.
Today, we have rankings of the best places to live, the most knowledge intensive regions of the world and the most competitive economies. In the latter case, countries are compared across economic performance criteria. One of the most influential is the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The 2012-2013 WEF ranking appeared last September. Switzerland is on top, moving ahead of Singapore. The WEF ranking consists of over 100 ranked items, classified in 12 pillars. For each pillar, some rankings are survey based, while others are based on actual data.
Through the provision of cost-efficient, reliable and frequent connections to overseas and inland markets seaports play an essential role in facilitating trade and in increasing the competitiveness of a nation or region. It is no surprise that Pillar 2 of the GCI dealing with infrastructure includes a component on the 'Quality of Port Infrastructure'.
You can freely download the editorial as Published @PortEconomics: PTI56-2012-Quality of port infrastructure ranking-De Langen et.al
|Partners in Publishing|
PortEconomics team co-directors Theo Notteboom and Peter de Langen together with associate member Wouter Jacobs will publish a new study on path dependence in seaport governance in a special issue on ports by Elsevier's Journal of Transport Geography
Central in the study are the concepts of path dependence and institutional plasticity which are applied to the seaports of Antwerp and Rotterdam.
The case studies demonstrate that the institutional environment in these two ports was not always conducive to a path towards more commercially-oriented and de-territorialised routines of port authorities. A process of institutional stretching followed, in which alternative institutional arrangements were sought in order to accommodate more structurally the organisational routines necessary for the port authority to cope with new challenges. In this process new layers are added to existing arrangements, gradually leading to a formalized governance reform but without breaking out of the existing path of development.
Download the authors' version of the study @ PortEconomics: 2012-Institutional plasticity & path dependence in seaports-(Notteboom, de Langen, Jacobs)
PortEconomics co-director Peter de Langen, joined by Jaco van Meijeren and Lóránt A. Tavasszy (both from Sustainable Transport and Logistics, TNO, Delft) present a method on commodity flow projections for ports that was developed as part of the Port Vision 2030 project of Port of Rotterdam Authority in a study that is published in the latest issue of the academic journal European Journal of Transport Infrastructure Research (EJTIR).
The method presented in the study Combining Models and Commodity Chain Research for Making Long-Term Projections of Port Throughput: an Application to the Hamburg- Le Havre Range combines a model with expert judgement and commodity specific research. This combination enables incorporating disruptions of past growth patterns. The contribution of this paper is the description of this method, its application to the volumes in 2030 of all major commodities handled in the Hamburg–Le Havre range, with four different scenarios, while most studies deal with a few commodities in one port, and often for a shorter period and with less scenarios. The results show that in all scenarios, total throughput is expected to rise, although in three scenarios not as fast as in the previous two decades. Furthermore, intermediates and container flows are expected to continue to grow, while throughput of raw materials (iron ore, crude oil) may decline.
You might download the study via PortEconomics: De Langen et al. (2012). Combining Models and Commodity Chain Research for Making Long-Term Projections of Port Throughput: an Application to the Hamburg- Le Havre Range. European Journal of Transport Infrastructure Research (EJTIR), 12(3), 310–331.
Port privitisation has again become a topical issue in Europe as the economic crisis is pushing some countries to sell off ports and other vital infrastructures. During a special roundtable discussion on port privatisation, PortEconomics co-directors Theo Notteboom and Thanos Pallis joined port authorities trade unions, terminal operators and conference delegates, and discussed whether this a trend that is here to stay and would full privatisation be in the interest of ports and the trade that they serve.
Another higlight of the second day of ESPO 2012 was, the presentation of the results of the PPRISM (Port Performance Indicators - Selection and Measurement) project conducted by several partners of the PortEconomics initiative by Chris Wooldridge.
The conference also devoted attention to the review of European ports policy that the European Commission recently announced. Other topics which were discussed included the financial capabilities of port authorities, public private partnerships, concessions and regional investment opportunities.
Acting at his capacity as Secretary General of the ESPO, PortEconomics associate member Patrick Verhoeven presented the ESPO 'Port Manifesto' advocating a 'renaissance' of port management and policy. The manifesto addresses port authorities, governments and the European Union. It advocates first of all a change of management culture among port authorities, one that combines a dynamic business policy with good corporate governance and transparency, both within and beyond the port area. Secondly, it invites responsible governments to devise frameworks that guarantee independent port management, removing all necessary bottlenecks. Finally, it recognises the potential of the European Union to be a positive force by ensuring a level playing field and legal certainty and fostering growth and development of ports.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas gave the closing keynote speech of the conference. "The ports policy review will not be a one size fits all approach. After all, there must be sufficient flexibility to take local circumstances into account. It is certainly not for the Commission to tell ports how their business should be run, or to suggest particular business models", said Mr. Kallas, "The review is about having greater transparency and fewer restrictions, to remove barriers for new entrants wanting to tender fairly and openly for port services. Fair competition is a healthy – and I would say, usual – requirement for improving port performance generally and for the system's overall efficiency."
In his conclusions, ESPO Chairman Victor Schoenmakers emphasised the need to balance legal certainty with the flexibility that port authorities need to manage the dynamic nature of the industry. "This is the most important challenge to resolve", said Mr. Schoenmakers.
You might download:
Theo's presentation via PortEconomics: The end of the landord model? Economics pressures to privitise ports
Thanos' presentation via PortEconomcis: Privitisation of Greek ports
The ESPO Manifesto via ESPO's webpage: ESPO Manifesto for Port Authorities, Governments and the European Union
Details of the event, and all speakers presentations @ the ESPO 2012 Conference webpage.
Read also @ PortEconomics: ESPO 2012 twitted by Patrick Verhoeven as happened
Porteconomics members and associated that conduct doctoral research had the opportunity to present port reserch related to their research to an audience including several PhD-students and a selected group of senior port researchers in the Netherlands and Belgium.
In particular, the program included a presentation by Vicky Kaselimi on her research on "A Game Theoretical Approach to the Interrelation between Terminal Scale and Port Competition", whereas Dries Verbraeken discussed his research on the "Exogenous Determinants of Land Productivity of Container Port Terminals". These studies are conducted under the supervision of Theo Notteboom, ITMMA & Faculty of Applied Economics of the University of Antwerp. PortEconomics associate member Larissa van der Lugt presented her research "Beyond the landlord: An analysis into the Strategic Scope of the Port Authority".
Other themes discussed included "Gateway and Hinterland Dynamics" by Darren Fraser,
"The Institution and Governance of Inland Waterway Transport" by Jinyu Li, "Location Analysis of Dry Ports Based on Fuzzy c-Means (FCM)" by Zheng Chang and "From the Terminal to the Metropolitan Region: Governing Logistics Development in the Greater Paris Region", Nicolas Raimbault.
The Smart Port Rotterdam initiative aims to develop new ways of cooperation, and combine high academic quality with practical relevant, to deliver research, education and project research.
In order to get an impression of the day you may visit the Youtube video of the event
In many countries around the world, governments and public port authorities have retreated from port operations in the belief that enterprise-based port services and operations would allow for greater flexibility and efficiency in the market (through more competition) and a better response to consumers' demands. In this new environment, the awarding of port terminals to private operators has become common practice. This can takes different forms ranging from management contracts/leases to BOT arrangements, with each type having specific modalities with regard to the spread of investments and of risks. In particular, concession policy has become a powerful governance tool to port managers. Through concession policy, port authorities can retain some control on the organization and structure of the supply side of the port market. The issue of terminal awarding processes has not received a lot of attention in academic circles, while it has become a key issue in port governance.
This special issue adds value to the existing knowledged by deepening and broadening the discussion on the award of terminals to private terminal operators. In particular it contains seven port studies address key issues in terminal awarding processes combining theoretical insights with empirical case studies:
- The ownership and management structure of container terminal concessions, by Sheila Farrell;
- Concession of the Piraeus container terminal: turbulent times and the quest for competitiveness, by Harilaos N. Psaraftis & PortEconomics co-director Thanos Pallis;
- Managing port concessions: evidence from Italy, by PortEconomics associate member Francesco Parola along with Alessio Tei & Claudio Ferrari;
- Awarding of Port PPP contracts: the added value of a competitive dialogue procedure, by Hidde Siemonsma, Wouter Van Nus & Patrick Uyttendaele;
- A new approach to granting terminal concessions: the case of the Rotterdam World Gateway terminal, by PortEconomics co-director Peter W. De Langen, along with Roy Van Den Berg & Aernoud Willeumier
- A new lease charging system for Busan container terminals: a historical case study, by Paul T.-W. Lee & Tsung-Chen Lee; and
- Current practices in European ports on the awarding of seaport terminals to private operators: towards an industry good practice guide, by PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, the PortEconomics associate member Patrick Verhoeven & Martina Fontanet
- The guest editorial Terminal concessions in seaports revisited by Theo Notteboom, Thanos Pallis & Sheila Farrell
These port studies have been completed through discussions in the working group on concessions of the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN), that has put the concession issue on the research agenda of maritime economists.
The special Maritime Policy & Management issue (vol 39, issue 1) is now available online @ Taylor & Francis Online.
Download the authors' version of the guest editorial @ PortEconomics:
Terminal Concessions in Seaports revisited (2012)
2013-OECD Rotterdam-Amsterdam Working Paper
11th PPRN Agenda SemiFinal
2013-European Speed limit vs an international Bunker-Levy to reduce CO2 emissions-Cariou