A team directed by Mary Brooks, member of the PortEconomics team, worked with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) to offer AAPA members an opportunity to identify users' perceptions of the quality of service at member ports.
Over 200 respondents, from three user groups (cargo interests, shipping lines and supply chain partners) took valuable time to provide us with their insights based on their experience with port service.
Examining service delivery effectiveness in seven North American container ports, with more than 250,000 TEUs in volume, Dr. Mary R. Brooks in collaboration with Dr. Tony Schellinck provided the management of each port with useful data on their performance as seen by the three user groups. Each port had a unique portfolio of factors to invest for improvement, and many ports found a usable "market for awareness" opportunity. East and West Coast patterns were also noted. They also provided the AAPA with the top line results of the survey.
Participating ports all reported that the Determinance/Importance Performance Gap Space provided a framework, which could be readily understood by their partners and staff, and on which they could determine improvement initiatives.
The exercise built on and expanded the conceptual work that had been developed by a Halifax, Canada based team consisting by Dalhousie University Professors Dr. Mary R. Brooks & Dr. Tony Schellinck, and PortEconomics co-director Thanos Pallis, Adjunct Professor at the same University. The instrument had been exploratory implemented in selected ports in Canada and the US. In collaboration with other PortEconomics members, the team aims to develop and apply the instrument in beyond North America, with the first phase including Europe.
You might download click here to download the full report @ the AAPA website: The AAPA Port Customer Service Initiative Report
North American Research
Brooks, Mary R., Douglas (Tony) Schellinck and Athanasios A. Pallis (2011). Port Effectiveness: Users' Perspectives in North America, Transportation Research Record, 2222, 34-42. (an early version of the study is available via PortEconomics - Port Effectiveness: Users' perspectives in North America, while the definite version of it is available via the TRR homepage).
- Brooks, Mary R., Tony Schellinck and A. A. Pallis (2011). A Systematic Approach for Evaluating Port Effectiveness, Maritime Policy and Management, 38 (3), 315-334 (an early version of the study is available via PortEconomics - 2011-MPM-Brooks, Schelinck, Pallis, while the definite version of it is available via the Journal's webpage: Maritime Policy and Management)
- European Sea Ports Organisation (2012). European Port Performance Dashboard (developed by ESPO in collaboration with several members of the PortEconomics team).[/span]
PortEconomics associated member Mary Brooks chaired the UNCTAD discussions on possible ways to measure and compare the performance of seaports, during an Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Assessing Port Performance that was held in Geneva on December 12, 20012.
Mary also delivered a presentation on the measurement of port effectiveness in port service delivery.
More than 80 per cent of merchandise trade by volume is seaborne, and the share is even higher for most developing countries. In many cases, over 95 per cent of a developing country's international trade passes through one main seaport. Increased port performance can lead to lower transport costs and help boost a country's competitiveness.
There is presently no global comparison of port performance allowing ports and their clients to benchmark against other ports. Identifying standardized indicators that would allow stakeholders to gain a better understand of their ports' efficiency could be an important first step towards encouraging further port reforms, leading to improved port efficiency and country competitiveness.
Experts from governments and port authorities, as well as academics and stakeholders from the private sector, had an opportunity to share information on recent and ongoing research in this area, and discussed potential future collaborations, including UNCTAD's role in the process. Experts also analysed whether and how indicators could be developed that would help increase transparency.
The PortEconomics team shaped discussions, while its members develop further studies, publications and contract research in the field - stay tuned for the latest developments.
More about the meeting@ UNCTAD Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Assessing Port Performance
Download freely Mary's presenation @PortEconomics: 2012-UNCTAD-Measuring Effectiveness in Port Service Delivery
The Korea Association of Maritime Industry recognized the study that won the 2011 IAME Best Paper award for a second time. The study co-authored by PortEconomics associate member Mary Brooks, Sean Puckett, David Hensher and Adrian Sammons, "Understanding Mode Choice Decisions: A Study of Australian Freight Shippers", was awarded the prize at the IAME 2012 Award Ceremonies in Taipei on 8 September.
The research paper examines the Australian domestic freight transport market, focusing on the decision-making process by which cargo interests and their agents make mode choice allocation decisions between land-based transport and coastal shipping. It evaluates the willingness to pay for various attributes of modal options on specific transport corridors. Such understanding lays the groundwork for being able to assess the likely impact of changes to transport prices arising from the introduction of carbon pricing or other regulatory factors. Reporting the results of a stated choice experiment, this paper identifies and quantifies freight shippers' preferences for components of services offered by freight transport providers across modes with distinct characteristics (i.e., mixes of speed (transit time), frequency of departure, reliability (two measures) and cost) in three corridors. There are seven variables examined: frequency, transit time, freight distance, direction (headhaul/backhaul), reliability as measured by delivery window, reliability as measured by delay, and price offered by the operator.
The study concludes by providing guidance on what trade-offs are relevant in shippers' choice of mode on the specific corridors under investigation in a more complex mode choice model than explored in previous research. It also examines what will likely happen if price rises as a result of carbon pricing regulation.
The paper has been published in the academic journal Maritime Economics and Logistics, in issue 3 of this year - for more information read the publication at the Journal's webpage: Understanding Mode Choice Decisions: A Study of Australian Freight Shippers
Following the August blue moon, port researchers and maritime economists along the world start travelling to Taipei in order to participate at the annual conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME 2012) and the meeting of the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN) that is traditionally held at the eve of the IAME.
Having two full moons in a month is a pretty rare occurrence, which is why the term "once in a blue moon" aptly applies to something that does not occur very often. On the contrary, the annual conference of the IAME and the meeting of the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN) are the places that every year provide unique global meetings for academics, key industry practitioners, and policy makers from diverse backgrounds and interests to meet, discuss and debate critical and challenging issues that will affect the future direction of international port, shipping and logistics research and practice.
The International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) is an international forum for the exchange of research and information among those interested in maritime and maritime-related issues. Membership is drawn from all continents and representation includes academics, industry and government. IAME is lead by the PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, who currently acts as elected President, while a number of the PortEconomics team members serve as elected members the present IAME Council.
PPRN is an informal network of maritime economists interested in issues of port policy management and economics that was established at the IAME 2001 meeting in Hong Kong to undertake empirical testing of port governance, and is currently coordinated by the memebrs of the PortEconomics team Mary Brooks and Thanos Pallis. The forthcoming PPRN meeting (sponsored by the Chinese Maritime Research Institute- CMRI) will further discuss frameworks and structure future research lines, including the following themes that have progressed since the Santiago meeting:
• The measurement of port efficiency
• Users (and other stakeholders) perspectives and the measurement of port effectiveness
• Port Authority growth and internationalization strategies
• The greening of port activities
• Concessions and financing
• Institutional issues of port governance
The PortEconomics team will travel to Taipei, presenting state of the art studies in port economics, policy and managemnet, shaping the work of IAME and the PPRN - with the members of the team willing to meet and further associate with those interested in the progress of port research.
The 2012 version of IAME Conference will take place 6-8 September 2012 and more information on its program can be obtained via the official website of the event IAME 2012 Programme
The 10th PPRN meeting will take place 5 Septemebr 2012; and you might download its programme 10th PPRN (Taipei 5 Sept 2012)
Photo by: Paul Conrad
Building a foundation of knowledge in port studies is not easy in today's ivory tower. The modern scholar searches the electronic journals readily available in library databases, relies on citation indices to indicate the most important journals in the field and reads few others unless the process of discovery is cherished, not common in the modern time-starved world of the academy.
From the perspective of port researchers, many of the more important journals have not been widely adopted by libraries, and some journals are only now seeking to have a citation impact factor.
Yet if new scholars in the field want to understand the evolution of port policy and management, they should read the seminal works. The challenge is that only a few libraries retain the dusty "stacks" housing them.
This volume intends to address that by making the early work more accessible. In revisiting the key foundations established by previous researchers, the reader of the volume that was just published by Edward Elgar, will discover the knowledge necessary to examine these issues in new contexts and in conjunction with new port business models.
'Mary Brooks and Thanos Pallis have sculpted this voluminous and impressive tome from some of the best historical work on the topic of maritime transport. By so doing, they have provided researchers in the field with a highly useable and informative first port of call for any investigation of previous work.'
– Kevin Cullinane, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Visit the publisher @ Edward Elgar, to access the Full table of contents, and Order the book.
This study discusses the findings of a survey of port users' perspectives in North America that identifies and evaluates a key, yet under-researched, component of port performance, that is effectiveness in delivering port services to port users. This research responds to recent calls by port scholars for studies measuring port performance for more analytical emphasis on users' perspectives. The study was conducted with the help of 13 professional associations in the U.S. and Canada and results in an understanding of (a) how port users evaluate the ports they use, (b) what is most important to them in terms of the attributes of services, and (c) how they evaluate the performance of ports they use on the U.S. east coast and in Canada. Participants were asked to rate the importance of various performance criteria and then to apply them by evaluating the performance of the ports they use on those dimensions. To analyze the findings, the study employs a gap analysis and uses Normalized Pairwise Estimations to measure the actual influence of a criterion on port performance. With performance being more than just satisfaction, this process generates knowledge on what contributes to better performance in the eyes of users in two different regions of North America. The results of this type of study will, in future, enable stakeholders to compare performance from specific ports as input to decision-making, and enable ports to focus their resources on improvements that matter to their customers and supply chain partners.
An early version of the study is be available via PortEconomics - Port Effectiveness: Users perspectives in North America, while the definite version of it being available via the TRR homepage.
The prize was presented by Prof. Kevin Cullinane Edinburgh Napier University - TRI) and the study has been co-authored MARY R. BROOKS (Dalhousie University), SEAN M. PUCKETT, (US Dept. of Transportation, Volpe National Transportation Systems Ctr.); DAVID A. HENSHER (University of Sydney); and ADRIAN SAMMONS, (AMSTEC Design Pty Ltd)
The study is a forerunner of a book edited by the same authors to be published in early 2012 by Edward Elgar and will include an extensive literature review of papers published between 1950-2000 and dealing with the port industry.
The paper can be downloaded @ PortEconomics [Download]
The authors' version of the work is available @ PortEconomics.eu [Download]
The PortEconomics SummerCourse was completed with participants and instructors sharing their enthusiasm for the event. Updates on developments in the field and state-of-the art research, interesting discussions and networking dominated four productive days on the theme of "Advances in Port Management: Theory and Practice".
Instructors included Thanos Pallis (University of the Aegean, Greece), Peter de Langen (University of Eindhoven/Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Theo Notteboom (ITMMA-University of Antwerp, Belgium), Mary Pierre Cariou (Euromed Management, France), Brooks (Dalhousie University, Canada), Jean-Paul Rodrigue (Hofstra University, USA), Adolf Ng (Hong-Kong Polytechnic University) and Thomas Vitsounis (University of the Aegean, Greece).
The first PortEconomics SummerCourse concluded with the wrap-up session by George Vaggelas (Advisor to the President and CEO of Port of Thessaloniki), Michalis Sarlis (Advisor to the Hellenic Champer of Shipping) and Patrick Verhoeven, (Secretary General, European Sea Ports Organisation - ESPO).
The PortEconomics team would like to thank all those that trusted our initiative and participated in the inaugural event. With evaluation reports being most promising, we promise to keep contact with the most promising young generation of academics and practitioners by developing further our activities.
The PortEconomics SummerCourse diary
Day 4: Production Factors (Capital, Labour, and Land) were the theme that dominated the final day of the PortEconomics SummerCourse, with Thanos Pallis and Theo Notteboom presenting an update of market developments. In the following session, participants were updated on Port Governance and Devolution by Mary Brooks. The first PortEconomics SummerCourse concluded with presentations by representatives of port authorities the users of the ports, and the European Sea Ports Organisation that concluded the SummerCourse. Participants enjoyed the farewell drink at the gardens of "Maria Tsakos Foundation" Centre for Maritime Research and Tradition. For most participants, this was also the welcome drink to the PortEconomics sponsored European Conference on Shipping, Intermodalism and Ports - ECONSHIP 2011.
Day 3: In the beginning of the executive course, Theo Notteboom and Jean-Paul Rodrigue presented to participants the latest "Developments in Shipping Markets as well as in Terminals and ITO Strategies". The sessions were followed by an informative discussion on "Ports and Supply Chains" by Peter De Langen, and presentation on "Port Performance Measurement in Practice" by Pierre Cariou and Thomas Vitsounis. In the final session of the day, participants of the SummerCourse had the opportunity to receive an update of the latest developments in port of North America, Asia, and Europe by Mary Brooks, Adolf Ng and Thanos Pallis respectively. The day ended with participants joining the PortEconomics dinner at the picturesque village of Thimiana.
Day 2: Lively discussions during the "PhD Breakfast and Brunch Session" marked the second day of the PortEconomics SummerCourse. Drs Chen, Gang (University of Southern Denmark), Vaggelis Kounoupas (University of Piraeus), Spyros Niavis (University of Thessaly), Kourounioti, Ioanna (University of the Aegean) and the PortEconomics member Papachristou Aimilia (University of the Aegean) presented the progress of their PhD research and discussed in a lively discussion themes, methodologies, research and publication potentials with other participants. The afternoon session included a relaxing trip to the villages and beaches of the famous Mastichohoria of Chios island, in a networking and "battery recharging" excursion. Participants return to the class tomorrow in a unique gathering including instructors from North America, Asia and Europe: These are: Theo Notteboom, Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Pierre Cariou, Mary Brooks, Adolf Ng, Peter De Langen, Thomas Vitsounis and Thanos Pallis.
Day 1: The inaugural PortEconomics SummerCourse on "Advances in Port Management: Theory and Practice" commenced on Saturday 18 June in Chios, Greece . The first day concentrated on the latest developments in port research, with Peter de Langen, Thanos Pallis and Thomas Vitsounis discussing the prospects and challenges for port research, as well as they ways that one might take advantage of the PortSudies database. They were joined by George Vaggelas (Port of Thessaloniki) who discussed the expectations of Port Authorities from the academia.The event will continue its works at the Korai Library in Chios, Greece, on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 June.
The full program The Full Program (final version) is available @ PortEconomics.
2013-OECD Rotterdam-Amsterdam Working Paper
11th PPRN Agenda SemiFinal
2013-European Speed limit vs an international Bunker-Levy to reduce CO2 emissions-Cariou