Small and medium sized ports (SMPs) in multi-port gateway regions : the role of Yingkou port in the logistics system of the Bohai sea
Institute for Transport en Maritime Management (ITMMA)
ECONSHIP 2011, Conference, University of the Aegean, Chios, 22-24 June 2011
University of Antwerp
This paper focuses on the role of small and medium-sized ports (SMPs) in enhancing the competitiveness and logistics performance of multi-port gateway regions and associated inland logistics systems. The main focus is on containerized cargo. The concepts developed will be applied to Yingkou, a port that is part of a major multi-port gateway region under development in Northeastern China. This paper starts with a literature review on the role of SMPs in port studies. We conceptualize and define SMPs in terms of a number of determinants (i.e. volume, market share, international connectivity, hinterland capture area, relative cluster position and logistics and distributional function). In a second section, the paper provides an in-depth empirical study on Yingkou port, which serves as a supporting port of the multi-port gateway region in the north of the Bohai Sea, a region dominated by the seaport of Dalian and major inland centers such as Shenyang. The functional and strategic position of Yingkou in this emerging port region is analyzed using multivariate analysis of the characteristics of the direct and more distant hinterland. In a last section of the paper, we use the Fuzzy AHP method to make concrete proposals on how the logistics system in and around Yingkou can be improved, not only to strengthen the functional role of the port but also the competitiveness and performance of the emerging multi-port gateway region in the northern part of the Bohai Sea. Conclusions are drawn with respect to how SMPs can improve networking and the logistics performance of the multi-port gateway region of which they are part.