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April 28th, 2021
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Maritime freight flows are the result of past supply chain design choices - if companies design global supply chains this results in global freight flows, comments Peter de Langen. Supply chain design choices generally lead to investments (in assets, partnerships and the like) and thus cannot be changed overnight. Hence, the current maritime flows are the result of past supply chain design choices. When contemplating the future of maritime freight flows, the best clue is to look at current and future supply chain design choices. One...
April 26th, 2021
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The recent Suez Canal blockage prompts us to revisit access arrangements and practices for individual ships using capacity-constrained maritime infrastructures and passages. In a new article on "Resolving the ship backlog puzzle in the Suez Canal: predicting ship transits in capacity-constrained areas”, PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, joins Mikael Lind, Wolfgang Lehmacher, Lars Jensen, Torbjorn Rydbergh, Rachael White, Hanane Becha, Luisa Antonia Rodriguez Ortega, and Peter Sand and verify the model of deriving queue numbers based...
April 9th, 2021
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On goes the wave of mergers of port development companies, this time between the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, writes The Analyst Peter de Langen. The merger has been long in the making, in contrast with some other cases, where the initiative came from the ports themselves (for instance the nearby Ghent and Zeeland Seaports merger into North Sea Port, and the merger of Copenhagen and Malmo Ports), this initiative has long been advocated by the Flemish government. The public owners of the port development companies, the cities of Bruges...
April 1st, 2021
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PortEconomics member Michaël Dooms moderated a webinar on port-city governance for the AIVP-Association Internationale Villes et Ports (International Association of Port-Cities), on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021. Increasing attention is needed for the Social License to Operate of port clusters, in particular in the context of economic and energy transition. As any port expansion or (re-) development project, the implementation of these strategies are in need of environmental and construction permits. Notwithstanding the sustainability impact...
February 23rd, 2021
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By Peter de Langen The French Haropa ports, Le Havre, Rouen and Paris are steadily implementing the full merger announced over two years ago; the final step should be ready June this year. As an important part of the integration, they recently published a strategic plan until 2025.  The plan is an interesting read and clearly reflects the changed landscape in the port industry. While in 2015, Le Havre had the ambition to grow container volumes with 50%, to around 4.8 million, this plan aims for a much more modest growth of 10%, to...
January 4th, 2021
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By Theo Notteboom Scale increases in container vessel size are a well-documented and much debated topic. The search for economies of scale and the focus on cost control have pushed the container shipping industry towards the deployment of ever larger containerships. In the early days of containerisation, ships had a nominal capacity of a few hundreds of TEU. In 1988, APL was the first shipping line to deploy a post-Panamax vessel. In 1996, Maersk Line shook the market by introducing the Regina Maersk of about 7,400 TEU. Consecutive...
November 24th, 2020
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By Peter de Langen E-commerce had been growing impressively before COVID-19, with growth rates as much as 10 times higher than the growth of sales of physical stores. COVID-19 has obviously accelerated that growth. Currently, around 20 per cent of all retail sales are online, with huge differences between commodities. For books the online share is over 50 per cent, for groceries the share is, in most countries, still below five per cent. It seems fairly obvious that the rapid growth will continue once the pandemic is over, one noticeable...
November 10th, 2020
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With the cruise industry stalled and uncertainty of containers, Malaga needs to expand into other cargo areas While we may associate the circular economy with more local value chains, a recent initiative from Malaga shows that this is not necessarily the case, writes Peter de Langen - in a viewpoint first published in his column as 'The Analyst" at Port Strategy. "Malaga has developed a triple function in the used (cooking) oil supply chain activities: import port for used oil, mainly from Asia, export port of biodiesel produced with the...
November 9th, 2020
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We have the pleasure to invite you to participate in our Global Survey on Port Transparency Practices, developed by PortEconomics members Mary R. Brooks, Geraldine Knatz, Thanos Pallis and Gordon Wilmsmeier. The aim is to define the best port practices (i.e. what needs to be made visible (and to whom), and what is considered to be verifiable in what is reported) from the perspective of port authorities, port users, stakeholders, researchers, and regulators. We invite you to take 9-11 minutes to complete a fully anonymous...
October 5th, 2020
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The UK, after claiming that the EU had been holding back the development of UK’s ports, launched a UK Freeports initiative as a major instrument to shape the UK’s economic development post-Brexit  by Peter de Langen Up to 10 Freeports are foreseen. These Freeports are to be privately developed in rail, air and seaports -probably mainly the seaports- and to be selected through a competitive bidding process. The UK has launched a public consultation to develop its freeport policy. The Freeport (or freezone) model works well in a variety...
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