Strategies with respect to Port of Zeebruges hinterland connections : the role of capacity and traffic uncertainty
Faculty of Applied Economics
S.l. , 2012
Proceedings of the IAME 2012 Conference, International Association of Maritime Economists, 6-8 September, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan
University of Antwerp
Ports are crucial links in supply chains, creating wealth for adjacent regions. Concerning port competitiveness, it is indicated in literature that good hinterland connections are crucial. Various investment plans have been made for seaport hinterland connections. Only a fraction actually has materialized; preparatory studies contradict each other, not enough budget is available, etc. Therefore, this paper offers a framework to make decisions about hinterland connections. To do this, analysis of scientific studies and consulting reports were conducted in combination with discussions with experts. Last, the structure of analysis is applied upon the Port of Zeebruges, which features a strong imbalance between its strong maritime potential, and the relatively weak hinterland connections. The results of available forecasts show an enormous variation in terms of traffic projections. Among others, this causes uncertainty through which it is difficult to make decisions. Consequently, the analysis results in strategies of optimizing the strategic decision making. From the real option theory, it is clear that a phased strategy is most suitable. The integrated analysis provides a framework to make investment decisions about port investments in general and hinterland connections in particular, and a pathway solution to a concrete case. Therefore, the study is relevant for policy makers and scientific researchers.