A strategic appraisal of the attractiveness of transport corridors : the Southern African case
Institute for Transport en Maritime Management (ITMMA)
IAME 2013 Conference July 3-5, Marseille, France
University of Antwerp
The past decade has brought significant growth at, and competition between regional gateway ports and intermediate hub container ports in Southern Africa. Corridors are the essential link between these ports and continental hinterlands. Capacity expansions of seaport and corridor networks (resources), in conjunction with efficient transport services/operations (capabilities) are important to guarantee the attractiveness of a port-corridor combination. An assessment of the important and attractive corridor resources and capabilities will identify the corridors key strengths and weaknesses. The results of such an assessment ultimately will guide stakeholders towards critical focus areas of the corridor requiring intervention. This is especially applicable to ports and corridors in developing countries pursuing growth. Currently, little empirical research exists which assesses the attractiveness of a corridor in a given port system. This paper focuses on two Southern African container gateway port corridors (Natcor, and Southcor Corridors), all contesting the same continental hinterland, namely, Guateng. By means of a corridor stakeholder survey, this study merges the corporate strategy concept of resource and capability appraisal, together with various theoretical principles of corridor attractiveness. This adapted resource and capability corridor appraisal model applied to the case in question presents an empirical framework resulting in the identification of each corridors (1) key strengths, (2) key weaknesses and (3) the competitive rank assessment of the corridor in the container port system. Furthermore, from the survey results, the model also identifies which criteria on corridor attractiveness are actually deemed important for supply and demand stakeholders relative to the current theoretical assumptions of corridor attractiveness.