Measuring the quality of port hinterland accessibility: The Ligurian case
Traditionally, distance was considered the parameter that could better reflect the economic influence of a seaport on land. Containerisation and intermodality progressively eroded such a paradigm and currently distance became only one of the factors across the overall "equation". In this respect, a fundamental role is played by the effectiveness of inland connections. The better the connection of a port to the various inland markets, the bigger the potential to enlarge its overall captive area. Furthermore, the higher the "frictions" (bottlenecks, delays, etc.) for reaching the hinterland, the lower the inland traffic flows. The major purpose of the paper is to measure container traffic diversion from Ligurian ports (Genoa, La Spezia and Savona) to the main Italian and European competitors. The application of a gravity model will reveal the current role of distance in drawing hinterland market share among the selected ports. Moreover, for evaluating the unexploited potentialities of Ligurian ports, we compared real traffic flows with the outcomes of a spatial interaction model, reassigning inland container flows to the different sampled ports. The calculation of the traffic delta through a gap analysis, allowed measuring the "frictions" thwarting the connectivity between the Ligurian ports and the sampled hinterland regions. Finally, the paper discusses the nature and the reasons for the above traffic diversion.
Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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