In his latest port study, PortEconomics co-director Peter de Langen advances a conceptual understanding of strategies of port development companies (PDCs) by applying the business ecosystem perspective.
Peter’s analysis. which is published in the scholarly journal Maritime Transport Research, leads to a distinction between four stylized strategies for PDCs and associated types of services: minimalist (six services), integrator (six services), and ecosystem services (six services).
An analysis of the services provided by a PDC reveals which strategy they follow. This approach is tested through a case study of the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PoR for short), the state-owned PDC in charge of developing Rotterdam’s port complex.
This case study yields three important conclusions:
- first, the relevance of the identified service types is confirmed, as Port of Rotterdam Authority is or has been active in providing 15 of the 18 identified service types, more specifically, all six ‘minimalist services’, all six ‘ecosystem services’, and three of the six ‘integrator services’.
- Second, the Port of Rotterdam Authority follows a ‘platform provider’ strategy.
- Third, the provision of ‘ecosystem services’ seems to become a more important part of Port of Rotterdam activities. The number of provided ecosystem services has grown between 2006 and 2021, and investments in ecosystem services account for an increasing share of PoRs total investments.
These results provide a basis for further research, amongst others, to better understand factors that
may influence the strategies of PDCs.
You might download and read the paper here: De Langen, P.W. (2023). The strategy of the port development company; a framework based on the business ecosystems perspective and an application to the case of Port of Rotterdam, Maritime Transport Research, Vol 4, June 2023.