Smart Transport Networks

Smart Transport Networks

Market Structure, Sustainability and Decision Making

NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research

Edited by Thomas Vanoutrive and Ann Verhetsel

Transport is debated by many, and liberalization processes, transport policy, transport and climate change and increased competition between transport modes are the subject of heated discussion. Smart Transport Networks illustrates that whether concerning road, water, rail or air, knowledge on the structure of transport markets is crucial in order to tackle transport issues. The book therefore explores key factors concerning the structure of transport markets, their environmental impact, and questions why decision makers often fail to tackle transport-related problems.

Chapter 5: The functional spaces of major European forwarding ports: study of competition for trade bound to the United States

Mona Kashiha and Jean-Claude Thill

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


The escalating liberalization of international trade that occurred during the decades following the Second World War under the impulse of various multilateral agreements and organizations has brought about a fundamental change in the geographical scope of logistics and freight transportation systems. While new trade ties have emerged with East Asia, long-time trading partners such as the United States and European nations have also intensified their trade relationships, to the point that the European Union is the largest trading partner of the United States and this trade represents4 percent of US gross domestic product (BEA, 2010).The intensification of long-haul trade routes has reinforced the critical role of seaports, as gateways to economic spaces and as nodes on the global deep-sea liner shipping networks (Goss, 1990; Notteboom and Rodrigue,2007; Tongzon and Sawant, 2007). A countervailing force has been that shipping lines have now become dominant actors in world trade because they operate at the global scale and often have the option to route their services through one of multiple seaports (Slack, 1993). As Slack puts it,‘ no longer can ports expect to attract shipping lines because they are natural gateways to rich hinterlands’ (p. 581), and so it is with containerized freight shipping business.

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