PortEconomics celebrates the launching of PortReports, a PortEconomics series aiming to enrich business and academic insights related to the port sector. In PortReport No 1 – authored by Jason Monios, Theo Notteboom, Gordon Wilmsmeier and Jean-Paul Rodrigue, readers have the chance to identify types of distribution activities that ports are suitable locations for, and which of such activities are best suited to the respective hinterland. The authors back their analysis with empirical evidence derived from a unique sample: a variety of regions in Europe, North America, South America, Southern Africa and Asia the report provides a unique overview of regional differences across the world, with the proposed framework taking into account geographical, economic and logistics settings. A locational duality in port-related distribution activities is emerging. In some regions, distribution activities have moved from ports to inland locations, driven in part by ‘push factors’ such as port congestion and scarcity of land for container handling activities, or by ‘pull factors’ such as the growth of intermodal corridors, the influence of inland terminals and the changing economic geography in the hinterland. In other regions, ports retain their traditional role as centres of distribution and warehousing activity. More recently, the focus on ‘port-centric logistics’ is indicative that some regions are refocusing on ports as potential locations for large distribution centres. The result has been a growing competition, but also complementarity, between ports and inland locations concerning the location of distribution activities, driven not only by market forces but also by institutional settings and the governance relations between the actors involved.
PortReport is a PortEconomics series designed to disseminate studies on port economics, policy, and management to a wider readership. Studies included in the series contain original, unpublished research and are subject to approval by the editorial team, with authors retaining copyright of the published work. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect official views of the PortEconomics team. The content might be reproduced subject to citation of the original source. PortReport studies are published regularly and are freely available electronically on the PortEconomics webpage under “PortReport”. To read previous issues of PortReport visit: www.porteconomics.eu/portreport.