The Busan Port Authority held its first Busan International Port Conference (BIPC) in Busan, Korea on the general theme of 'Ports adapting to change'. The conference was held to celebrate ten years since the foundation of the Busan Port Authority (BPA). About 500 port leaders and figures in the global port and shipping industry attended the event. PortEconomics was represented by its co-director Theo Notteboom, ITMMA President.
In a session on 'Prospect for Global Economy and Shipping Industry' moderated by Kieran Ring, CEO of Global Institute of Logistics, Theo Notteboom gave his perspective on the current outlook and challenges in the international shipping industry. The liner shipping industry is characterized by uncertainty and volatility in freight rates and low or even negative margins. Consolidation, scale increases in vessel size and strategic alliances are used as tools to control costs and guarantee survival. However, Theo argued that these approaches do not offer a sustainable solution to the current race to the bottom in freight rates and the lack of stability in the market. While vertical integration could make shipping lines less vulnerable to maritime transport activities, the current market situation is characterized by divestments of shipping lines in terminals and inland logistics. His presentation was a clear call for a more resilient and flexible business model in liner shipping.
Theo Notteboom also moderated a session on 'Climate change and clean ports'. In that session, high level representatives of Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, the port of Hamburg and the International Association of Ports and Harbors discussed about the wide range of mandatory rules and legislation in place on the 'greening' of ships and ports, and the range of voluntary programs such as the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) and incentive schemes in the ports of California, Hong Kong and Singapore. The panel debate also contributed to the current discussions in the Korea Clean Air workgroup in the port of Busan.
The upcoming stringent environmental regulations enacted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), particularly at the level of the emission control areas (ECA), serve as a catalyst for exploring the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.
PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom joined by Siyan Wang (ITMMA, University of Antwerp), examines the perspectives and challenges of LNG as a ship fuel in a viewpoint publish in Port Technology International [issue 60]
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The call for papers to be presented at the DEVPORT International Conference for Ports, Maritime Transport and Regional Development: Adaptation of maritime, port and logistics actors to hazards of globalization, to be held 12-13 June 2014 in Le Havre (France) reaches its deadline on 1st December.
The DEVPORT project brings together researchers from different research centers and universities. It wishes to initiate the establishment of a network that will contribute to the popularization research on maritime transport, port organizations and the territorial impact of these activities in the academia sphere but also in the maritime and port business world.
The aim of this conference is to compare different disciplinary approaches to two main topics:
- The first concerns the adaptation of maritime, port and logistics operators to hazards of globalization including strategies of maritime shipping lines, port planning and development, supply chain development. They are part of research fields on which researchers have already significant experience capitalized.
- The second axis is to analyze a number of port models identifiable in foreign contexts and compare them to the particular case of "The Seine Corridor"(Le Havre, Rouen, Paris) or "Seine Axis". The ultimate goal is to find the best operating conditions of a regional port system, associated to a global metropolis.
Innovations in transport have facilitated the development of flexible production and distribution systems both locally and globally as well as the emergence of an increasingly specialized and globalized economy.
Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and a key engine driving globalization. Around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value is carried by sea; these shares are even higher in the case of most developing countries. In the same time, maritime trade patterns and networks as well as their underlying port and shipping policies and strategies are becoming increasingly complex. This continuous growth of sea transport raises important questions about the changing role of nodes in the global transport and value chain such as globalization, trade and development, environmental sustainability, energy security and climate change.
Structural changes in international trade and the evolution of maritime transport have a direct impact on port and surrounding territories. Therefore, these elements and their recent characteristics must be examined.
Authors are invited to submit their papers in relation to the following core topics (list not exhaustive). The scientific committee will give precedence to criteria such as the originality and novelty of the research, while contributions from young scholars are particularly welcomed, from any academic discipline (e.g. geographers, historians, planners, economists, Management Sciences and transport specialists in general):
• Global maritime systems
• Hinterland Strategies
• River-sea transport
• Ports and Spatial Planning
• Shipping Market Analysis
• Governance and territorial Development
• Regional studies
• Sustainable maritime transport
• Port economics
The final deadline for proposals is December 1st, 2013.
DEVPORT welcomes papers in English, French and Spanish. The proposal must include an abstract (One A4 page maximum, Times New Roman 12 points), the title of the presentation, 5 keywords, the name of the presenter(s), short CV, e-mail address of the author(s).
Once the proposal has been accepted, we shall notify participants before February 1st 2014.
The deadline for the full paper is April 30th 2014.
Individual presentations at the Conference are limited to a 20 minute summary to allow for debate and discussion within the session.
The scientific committee of the conference is composed of the following members who are in charge of approving the conference programme in particular the products to be presented in the conference.
• Alfred Baird, Professor (Maritime Business) – Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland)
• Yves Boquet, Professor (Geography) - University of Bourgogne (France) - Secretary of the IGU.
• Jacques Guillaume, Professor (Geography) - University of Nantes (France)
• Theo Notteboom, Professor (Economy) – University of Antwerp (Belgium)
• Xavier Martinez de Osés, Professor (Geography) - University of Catalonia (Spain)
• Gilles Paché, Professor (Management Sciences) - University of Aix-Marseille (France)
• Thanos Pallis, Ass. Professor (Shipping, Trade and Transport) - University of the Aegean (Greece)
• Michel Savy, Professor (Economy) - University of Paris-Est (France)
• Brian Slack, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Geography) – Concordia University (Canada)
• Benjamin Steck, Professor (Geography) - University of Le Havre (France)
• Pierre Thorez, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Geography) - University of Le Havre (France)
• Johan Woxenius, Professor (Logistics and Transport) - University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
• Juliette Dolique, Engineer, Projet DEVPORT, University of Le Havre, CIRTAI UMR CNRS 6266 IDEES
• César Ducruet, Research fellow for the CNRS, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités
• Olivier Joly, Associate Professor, University of Le Havre, CIRTAI UMR CNRS 6266 IDEES, SFLOG
• Laurent Lévêque, Associate Professor, University of Le Havre, CIRTAI UMR CNRS 6266 IDEES
• Hipolito Martell, Associate Professor, Compiègne University of Technology
• Christelle Merrien, Engineer, University of Le Havre CIRTAI UMR CNRS 6266 IDEES
• Arnaud Serry, Associate Professor, University of Orléans, CEDETE
With ports being a key component of modern tranportation system, there is a growing research interest in port economics, management and policy issues.
Maritime Policy & Management (MPM), the flagship journal of maritime studies, has been a publication that advanced the knowledge and understanding of ports since its inception in 1973.
With MPM celebrating its 40th anniversary, PortEconomics co-directors Theo Notteboom, Thanos Pallis and Peter de Langen, joined by PortEconomics member Aimilia Papachristou, have published a port study that provides an analysis of all port related scholarly papers published in Maritime Policy & Management (MPM) since its first issue.
The study examines 267 MPM papers, categorized in seven inter-related research themes providing for each category a content analysis including main research topics and methods, authorship distribution and the citation rate of the particular categories. The study concludes with a discussion on current challenges for port-related research as well as an identification of emerging and promising research streams.
The study is published in a special MPM, celebrating the 40 years of Maritime Policy and Management, edited by Wesley Wilson.
You might download the authors' version of the paper @ PortEconomics: 2013-Advances in Port Studies (Notteboom-Pallis-de Langen-Papachristou)
"Peripheral challenge by Small and Medium Sized Ports (SMPs) in Multi-Port Gateway Regions: the case study of northeast of China" is the theme of the new study of PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, ITMMA-University of Antwerp together with Lin Feng, Dalian Maritime University, that is published in the 20th Special Issue of the Polish Maritime Research Journal.
The study focuses on the role of small and medium-sized ports (SMPs) in enhancing the competitiveness and logistics performance of multi-port gateway regions and associated inland logistics systems. The concepts developed will be applied to the ports in the northeast of China, a multi-port gateway region around the Bohai Sea Economic Rim (BER). Port competition is analyzed by multi-variable methodology and generalized common characteristics of SMPs compared to gateway ports, and the similarities of SMPs and SMEs are also compared. Later in this study is being analyzed the role of a SMP in such region in different variables: (a) cargo volume and market share; (b) international connectivity; (c) relative cluster position; (d) port city and hinterland connection; and (e) logistics and distribution function. The five-dimension analysis combined with in-depth cases study of typical Yingkou port describes a profile of SMPs in the BER and provides future study possibility for more SMPs cases worldwide.
You may download freely the study @porteconomics.eu: 2013-PMR-Feng and Notteboom
PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom contributed in the latest Port Technolgy International [issue 59], an article on "Cargo volumes on the European container port system".
source: Theo Notteboom (2013). Cargo volumes on the European container port system". Port Technology International, no. 59
An earlier contribution in Port Technology International titled ‘Recent traffic dynamics in the European container port system’ [issue 58] discussed the impact of the crisis on the port hierarchy in the European container system. The focus was mainly on the evolving traffic position in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of specific multi-port container gateway regions in Europe.
In this contribution Theo analyses the recent changes in the total cargo volumes in European ports as well as in specific cargo groups. We also discuss the relevance of focusing on port throughput as an indicator of a port’s success. This contribution is largely based on Theo's keynote presentation delivered during the annual conference of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) in Varna, Bulgaria at the end of May 2013.
You can freely download Theo's article @PortEconomics: 2013-Cargo Volumes in the European Port System (Notteboom)
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PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom appeared on national Belgian TV program 'De vrije markt' ('The free market') on Saturday 21 September. The program devoted to the theme of port labour in Belgian ports, with the other panel member being Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the port of Antwerp.
You might share Theo's views and enjoy the most interesting discussion with the only condition that you understand Dutch), by simply watching hers: The Video (in Dutch)
PortEconomics members, joined by leading researchers and firms in Europe embark in a new major reasearch program aiming at improving the resource efficiency and competitiveness of the European Port System.
This is one of the flagship research projects financially supported by the European Commission, in an attempt to facilitate policy-making and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the port system in Europe
PORTOPIA aims at creating an integrated knowledge base and management system of port performance to serve the industry's stakeholders in improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the European Port System. To that end, different domains will be linked such as market trends and structure, socio-economic performance, environment and safety, logistic chain and operational efficiency, governance and finance and user perceptions of quality. Inland ports will also be covered in the project. PORTOPIA aims to create an integrated and balanced view on port performance. Furthermore, performance will be linked to the industry's and the European Commission's policy objectives in diverse areas.
In total, 12 academic and industrial partners from 9 European countries will execute the project. This consortium includes PortEconomics members Thanos Pallis, Theo Notteboom, Peter de Langen, Michael Dooms, Francesco Parola, Larisa van der Lugt, Mary Brooks, George Vaggelas; with one among them, Micheal Dooms (Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB), acting as the project coordinator.
Following a call for projects under the EU-FP7 research scheme, the PORTOPIA project has started this September. After 4 years, the project should result in the creation of a self-supporting and sustainable organisation at the service of the industry's stakeholders.
An efficient and sustainable port system is an important facilitator and driver for economic growth. European ports account for 37% of intra-European trade volumes, and play a key role to link European markets and industries to global trade networks with a share of 90% of external trade. On top of that, each year, ca. 400 million passengers transit through European ports. Mr Dimitrios Theologitis (European Commission - Head of the ports policy and inland waterways unit): "In recent years we have witnessed an impressive transformation of the role of ports in the transport chain. Adaptation to multimodality, introduction of advanced ICT systems, impressive changes in the port-ship interface and cutting edge logistics requirements are putting more and more pressure in ports. The PORTOPIA project is meant to document this progress and shows the strong commitment of the EU in supporting innovation and word level class performance of a sector – ports – which is of key importance for the competitiveness of European businesses and the well-being of citizens"
The project, with a total budget of ca. 4,2 million euro, of which ca. 3 million euro is funded by the European Commission, is the largest European research project on ports since the start of the European Port Policy in 1996.
The European Seaports Organisation (ESPO) and its various committees will play a pivotal role within the consortium by ensuring a strong link towards port authorities and making sure that the objectives, needs and interests of the industry are integrated.
Ms. Isabelle Ryckbost (Secretary-General ESPO) comments:
"PORTOPIA will allow ports to look in the mirror and see how they perform compared to meaningful averages and best practices. This can be the first step to improve performance or to convince the board of certain decisions to be made. But it can also be a tool to demonstrate to the broader port community how well one's port is functioning. It is of paramount importance that the results of this project fit the needs of the ports industry. Moreover, when participating, ports must be able to count on a certain confidentiality. There is no harm in showing the global picture of European ports when it comes to their performance on the environmental and socio-economic dimension. The inputs and outputs of each individual port should however only serve the given port and should not be open to others. Finally this project should alleviate the burden of filling in the same data for different purposes: ideally, it should result in a one-stop shop for port data. "
Furthermore, all important organisations representing stakeholders from the port logistics chain on the European level (such as terminal operators, shipping lines, tug and towage services, pilots, boatman, agents and forwarders, shippers,...) also have been associated to the project's industrial steering committee. A Global Scientific Committee will ensure the link towards global performance of the industry.
According to Prof. dr. Michaël Dooms (VUB, project coordinator):
"The development of an industry performance measurement tool is a sensitive topic in the port stakeholder community. A very close collaboration with industry and policy stakeholders will be a critical success factor to achieve sustainable project outputs. The PORTOPIA knowledge platform should strengthen the long-term relationships between stakeholders. The resulting exchange of data and best practices can substantially increase the port industry's position as a driving force of sustainable economic growth in the European Union".
PortEconomics will regularly update its readers on the progress and the output of PORTOPIA. Stay tuned !!
PortEconomics co-directors Thanos Pallis and Theo Notteboom were in the list of the speakers invited by the OECD to shape the OECD Conference on Port-Cities that take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. PortEconomics reports, on the key themes of their presentations.
Thanos keynote speech on "Lessons learned and the way forward" was delivered in a session where Thanos shared the platform with Dimitrios Theologitis, Head of Unit "Ports and Inland Navigation", European Commission, Isabelle Ryckbost Secretary-General European Seaport Organisation and José Viegas, Secretary-General of the OECD International Transport Forum.
In his intervention Thanos welcomed the OECD studies contacted, emphasising that:
- While the synthesis report illustrates the need for cohabitation between ports and the cities, there is no clear who is doing what in enhancing this cohabitation many stakeholders /multiple levels. Whereas at the port is clear that the port authority needs to lead the way, "local / municipal authorities" is an expression that is perceived in different ways by different authorities, with policy regimes and bureaucracy making it all more difficult".
- "The report illustrates masterfully that "when you see one port you have seen one port" and went on saying that the major contribution of the OECD program is that it "accepts the facts and corrects misconceptions. On the one hand, it helps that port people acknowledge that ports might be noisy, dirty, congested, and these issues need to be addressed; thus it is most important to be addressed by port people themselves. Therefore, the contribution of the report is significant both in content and message. On the other hand, cities need to accept that ports are essential, that a port is not only about efficiency but is also about effectiveness. This means, that in order to have a positive impact ports need to satisfy users, thus need space. All thee when public funding for either infrastructure or knowledge is not enough.
- The OECD is now invited to "think beyond the box", as passenger ports are also too important for port-cities.
- Talking with my capacity as MedCruise secretary general, I would invite OECD, to focus on cruise actives, which are sustainable, and contribute to sustainable growth of local and global economies. As proved since the crisis of 2008, cruise growth can continue, the growth in the Med alone was 197% the last decade and 45% since 2008. With challenges remained to be resolved by both the port and the city, initiatives towards this way without however exaggerating (i.e. there is not helpful inflating the spending of cruise at the port that it calls).
- With challenges to be resolved by both port and the city, the OECD report emphasises the importance of strategic thinking by port authorities. Port governance does matter and the fit of the environment the governance of the ports and the strategies is vital. PAs need autonomy and tool boxes to act. Thus, the OECD needs studies that work towards identifying how this fit might evolve - whereas the European Commission can help towards this direction.
- Finally, regional approaches will remain essential in any case. Institutions and implying practices as regards the search of this co-habitation between the port and the city will differ. Busan, Rotterdam, Piraeus, or Valparaiso can hardly think similarly as they are embedded in local cultures. The environment is most illustrative in that sense. W hat is acceptable in one port, its city and stakeholders might be substantially different from what is acceptable in Miami.
- In this context, collaboration of activities between ports is important. What has been done at corporate level – the OECD synthesis report provides interesting data - needs to include in its agenda the co-habitation between port and the city.
The aim of this conference was to provide policy-makers with international best practices on port-city development. A series of renowned experts and stakeholders will discuss main challenges and the changing global context facing port-cities, including on economic transitions, connectivity, spatial development and labour markets. The conference was hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the City of Rotterdam.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its synthesis publication on port-cities. This publication is based on a series of case studies conducted in various port-cities around the world: More about the program.
Read more about Theo Notteboom's intervention at the OECD Conference: Economic challenges to port-city relations
Ocean freight logistics play a significant role in facilitating international trade. A special issue in International journal of Logistics Management on "Strategic Management of Ocean Freight Logistics in An Ever-Changing Global Economy" edited by Jingjing Xu (University of Plymouth) and PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom (ITMMA - University of Antwerp) contributes to ongoing debates on current issues shaping ocean freight logistics.
A total of seven papers are included in this Special Issue addressing various aspects of ocean freight logistics management, including seaports:
- The paper 'Managing Variability in Global Ocean Transportation Networks 'authored by Alan Harrison and Johannes Fichtinger studies the relationship between time-related variables in global ocean transportation networks (GOTNs) and the shipper's inventory management performance.
- The paper 'Supply-Side Strategic Flexibility Capabilities in Container Liner Shipping 'authored by Robert Mason and Rawindaran Nair explores the extent to which supply side flexibility tactics are deployed by operators in the container liner shipping sector to restrict supply in a market which is characterised by over-supply or under-demand.
- The paper 'Assessment of Empty Container Repositioning Policies in Maritime Transport' authored by Jing-Xin Dong, Jingjing Xu and Dong-Ping Song has evaluated and compared the performance of a number of typical empty container repositioning policies
- The paper 'Slow Steaming in Container Liner Shipping: Is There Any Impact on Fuel Surcharge Practices?' authored by Theo Notteboom and Pierre Cariou assesses how container shipping lines have implemented slow steaming practices since 2008 and their impact on pricing policies regarding fuel surcharges.
- The paper 'Towards a New Era in Ship Registration' authored by Jane Jing Xu examines the current ship registration situation and the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on flagging behaviour.
- The paper 'Improving the Service Operations of Container Terminals' authored by Wen-Kai K. Hsu explores how container terminal operators can improve the terminals' service operations.
- The paper 'PCS Interoperability in Europe: A Market for PCS Operators?' authored by Marie-Laure Baron and Hervé Mathieu addresses the evolution of local Port Community Systems at the conceptual level. It has brought insight into a number of issues in relation to PCSs, including the stages through which the building of a European maritime information network is going, the growing part played by PCS operators, the way competition and the market are organized, and the institutional difficulties.
Visit the Special Issue's webpage to read the studies.