IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The analysis of port regionalization process: the Spanish ports' case


  • Ana Martinez-Pardo
  • Lorena Garcia-Alonso
  • Ana Viñuela


The analysis of the scope, boundaries and evolution of a port hinterland is not a very common topic on the ports literature. The rise experienced by the logistic activity has shifted the interest towards the maritime routes, leaving aside the studies dealing with the inland maritime traffic distribution. One of the reasons why this approach is commonly adopted might be the fact that the competition over the traffic is increasingly taking place among the logistic chains. Based on this idea, the development of the intermodal transportation would have caused a shift on the degree of dependency of the ports on their geographically closer area. However, there is not a general consensus on this hypotheses. Other authors defend that each port belongs to a system and their activity growth is closely link to their economic, social and political environment. These approaches, apparently contradicting, can be however be considered complementary given the double condition of the ports: centrality vs intermediacy. In this paper we first describe the spatial origin of the maritime traffic in Spain and how it is distributed among the main container ports. The aim is to analyse the port's ability to penetrate into the inland Spanish territory. With this objective in mind, we set the boundaries of the ports hinterland at high level of detail using municipal data and the location of the companies generating the trade flows. The port hinterland boundaries suggested can help us to identify the more suitable inland corridors to connect one port to the inland islands generating traffic. Then, we suggest a combined index that permits evaluating both the geographical dispersion of a port hinterland and the hinterland homogeneity in generating that traffic. The main advantage of this Diversification index lies in its simplicity to do a first diagnosis on the port's spatial dependency given both its own specific characteristics and also in comparison to the others. As the index is a combination of two other indexes with minimum and maximum values, another advantage is the ability to disintegrate the different -and at times apparently opposite-, factors affecting the total value of the Diversification index delta. We believe this combined index sets a solid base to continue working on the development of a comprehensive analysis tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Martinez-Pardo & Lorena Garcia-Alonso & Ana Viñuela, 2013. "The analysis of port regionalization process: the Spanish ports' case," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1099, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p1099

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p1099. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.