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Coordination in Hinterland Transport Chains: A Major Challenge for the Seaport Community


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  • Martijn R Van Der Horst

    (Department of Port, Transport and Regional Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burg. Oudlaan 50 – 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.)

  • Peter W De Langen

    ([1] 2Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands [2] 3Department Corporate Strategy, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


Many different private companies – shipping lines, terminal operating companies, forwarders, hinterland transport providers, and inland terminal operators – are involved in hinterland transport. In addition, different public actors such as the port authority, customs, and infrastructure managers are involved. Creating effective hinterland transport chains requires the coordination between all these actors; coordination does not come about spontaneously. Its development may be hindered by free-riding problems, a lack of contractual relationships, information asymmetry, and a lack of incentives for cooperation. This paper presents analyses of the coordination problems in hinterland chains of seaports and arrangements to resolve these problems. The most relevant coordination problems in hinterland chains are discussed. Based on insights from institutional economics, four main categories of arrangements to improve coordination are identified: the introduction of incentives, the creation of an interfirm alliance, changing the scope of the organisation, and collective action. An analysis is presented of a substantial number of coordination arrangements in hinterland transport to and from the port of Rotterdam, thereby indicating how coordination could be improved. Maritime Economics & Logistics (2008) 10, 108–129. doi:10.1057/palgrave.mel.9100194

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Maritime Economics & Logistics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (March)
Pages: 108-129

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Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:10:y:2008:i:1:p:108-129

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Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

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  3. Verny, Jerome & Grigentin, Christophe, 2009. "Container shipping on the Northern Sea Route," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 107-117, November.
  4. Pallis, Athanasios A. & de Langen, Peter W., 2010. "Seaports and the structural implications of the economic crisis," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 10-18.
  5. van Asperen, E. & Dekker, R., 2010. "Flexibility in Port Selection: A Quantitative Approach Using Floating Stocks," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-44, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  6. Monios, Jason & Wilmsmeier, Gordon, 2012. "Giving a direction to port regionalisation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1551-1561.
  7. van Riessen, B. & Negenborn, R.R. & Dekker, R. & Lodewijks, G., 2013. "Impact and relevance of transit disturbances on planning in intermodal container networks," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2013-18, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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  10. Monios, Jason & Wilmsmeier, Gordon, 2013. "The role of intermodal transport in port regionalisation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 161-172.
  11. Marianne Fischman & Emeric Lendjel, 2012. "Maritime Ports And Inland Interconnections: A Transactional Analysis Of Container Barge Transport In France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00741127, HAL.
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  13. Monios, Jason, 2011. "The role of inland terminal development in the hinterland access strategies of Spanish ports," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 59-66.
  14. Antoine Frémont & Pierre Franc, 2008. "VOIES NAVIGABLES ET DESSERTE PORTUAIRE Massifier les flux pour intégrer le transport fluvial dans les chaînes logistiques portuaires : étude des impacts économiques et environnementaux. Le cas du ," Post-Print hal-00544625, HAL.
  15. Rodrigue, Jean-Paul & Notteboom, Theo, 2010. "Foreland-based regionalization: Integrating intermediate hubs with port hinterlands," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 19-29.


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