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A Strategic Diagnostic Tool Applied to Iberian Seaports: An Evolutionary Perspective


  • Maria Rosa Pires Da Cruz
  • João J. Ferreira
  • Susana Garrido Azevedo


The highly competitive and rapidly changing environment faced by businesses has greatly increased the need for strategic planning. The importance of formulating strategies to reach competitive advantages with implications in the performance is becoming increasingly evident in the seaport context. Thus, it is relevant and appropriate to apply strategic positioning tools to seaports given the role of competitive strategies in the growth and development of this industry. This research aims to analyse the strategic positioning of the leading Iberian Peninsula seaports (Portuguese and Spanish seaports) using the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix as a strategic tool in an evolutionary perspective. The portfolio analysis developed subsequently focuses on the annual data of eight seaports in a selected period of 18 years (1992--2009) and on five categories of traffic: liquid bulk (LB), dry bulk (DB), containers (CO), ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) and conventional cargo (CC). This research allows us to compare and analyse different levels of performance and identify which of the seaports have improved their strategic positioning during the considered period. The findings reveal a better positioning of Spanish seaports in relation to total traffic and that most of the seaports in the BCG matrix had changed from the first to the third period. The seaport of Valencia is the only one that has maintained its Star Performer position in all the 18 years analysed. Furthermore, considering container traffic, the results evidence the seaports of Algeciras, Valencia and Barcelona as having attained a remarkable position of leadership.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Rosa Pires Da Cruz & João J. Ferreira & Susana Garrido Azevedo, 2011. "A Strategic Diagnostic Tool Applied to Iberian Seaports: An Evolutionary Perspective," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 333-349, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:32:y:2011:i:3:p:333-349
    DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2011.647837

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