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The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: The Case of the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen, Paris, Caen), France


  • Olaf Merk


  • César Ducruet

    (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Patrick Dubarle
  • Elvira Haezendonck

    (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

  • Michael Dooms

    (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


This working paper offers an evaluation of the performance of the ports of the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen, Caen and Paris), as well as an analysis of the impact of the ports on their territory and an assessment of policies and governance in this field. It examines declining port performance in the last decade and identifies the principal factors that have contributed to it. In addition, the report studies the potential for synergies between the different ports, and surveys impending developments that are likely to influence port performance. The effect of the ports on economic, social and environmental questions is studied and quantified where possible. The value added of the port cluster of Le Havre/Rouen is calculated and its interlinkages with other economic sectors and other regions in France delineated. The paper outlines the impact of the ports' operations, and shows how their activities spill over into other regions. The major policies governing the ports are assessed, along with policies governing transport and economic development, innovation, the environment and spatial planning. These include measures instituted by the port authorities, as well as by local, regional and national governments. Governance mechanisms at these different levels are described and analysed. A port reform package, implemented in 2011, has changed the roles of the principal actors within the ports, and initiatives at the regional level have been intensified. Based on the report's findings, recommendations are proposed with a view to improving port performance and increasing the positive effects of the ports on their territory.

Suggested Citation

  • Olaf Merk & César Ducruet & Patrick Dubarle & Elvira Haezendonck & Michael Dooms, 2011. "The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: The Case of the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen, Paris, Caen), France," OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2011/7, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:govaab:2011/7-en

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Laurent GUIHERY & Florent LAROCHE, 2015. "Hinterland Portuaire : Le Nouveau Rôle Du Fer. Une Illustration Avec La Betuweroute (Pays-Bas)," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 41, pages 163-173.
    3. Moreira, Paulo Pires, 2012. "A Análise De Sines Como Ativo Geoestratégico Nacional: Um Cluster Suportado Nas Redes Marítimas Mundiais
      [The Analysis of Sines as a Geostrategic Asset: A Cluster Supported in the Maritime Chain]
      ," MPRA Paper 47694, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 04 Oct 2012.
    4. Moreira, Paulo Pires, 2013. "The port of Sines:contribution for the emergence of a regional cluster," MPRA Paper 47719, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    input-output; inter-regional trade; ports; regional development; regional growth; transportation; urban growth;

    JEL classification:

    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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