Port market developments and strategies

Hilde Meersman, Eddy van de Voorde, Thierry Vanelslander (Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp)

The aim of this study is to identify and analyze a number of critical issues in the port and maritime business for the future decades. It is clear that the sector is facing a number of big challenges, emanating from worldwide economic changes, social evolutions and environmental awareness. These changes stem from inside as well as from outside the sector. It is important to get grip on what these changing characteristics are, how structural they are, how important their impact is, and what factors are causing or triggering them.

Research in the frame of this paper has led to six future key issues:

  The changing relationship between maritime and port activity and international trade
  The role of actor strategies and interests in port competitiveness
  The increasing stress on port hinterland connections
  The growing interconnection and integration of maritime and port-related companies
  Concessions as remaining port authority tools
  Increasing opportunities and potential of inter-port co-operation
 
These different topics are elaborated in the subsequent sections of this report.