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The Handbook of Service Industries

Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels

Service activities are now acknowledged as key players in economic development, societal change and public policy worldwide. This exciting Handbook not only contributes to ongoing conceptual debates about the nature of service-led economies and societies; it also pushes back the frontiers of current critical thinking about the role of service activities in urban and regional development and the important research agendas that remain to be addressed.
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Chapter 12: Transport Services and the Global Economy: Towards a Seamless Market

Thomas R. Leinbach and John T. Bowen


Thomas R. Leinbach and John T. Bowen Introduction The value of both transport infrastructure and services has long been recognized and considered integral to economic development. But over the last decade especially, the role of transport services has become especially critical. As a result of growing efficiencies and falling costs, both passenger but especially freight transport services have been major factors in the increased globalization of the world economy (Janelle and Beuthe, 2002). Various adjustments and enhancements, both subtle and conspicuous, to transport services have made an impact on the sector and its relations with the globalization process. Accommodating new technologies, new markets and new organizational structures has required major changes on the part of providers and consumers, whether individuals or firms. The pressure of competition requires that firms increasingly be focused upon greater efficiency. Essentially this points to the gradual evolution of a ‘seamless’ transport market. The basic notion suggests an environment in which national and modal boundaries neither delay movements nor hinder the choice of the most efficient route and/or modal combination for the movement required (Willoughby, 2000). The liberalization of many national (and increasingly regional and international) transport markets and the innovation dynamics of technology-driven services strongly influence this drive for seamlessness. This chapter then addresses progress toward a seamless market as well as obstacles and constraints that interfere. The overriding goal is to examine the contributing and contradictory forces that influence transport services. The focus is on service delivery associated with...

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