Operations, Design and Policy
Edited by Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 5: Bundling of Freight Flows and Hinterland Network Developments
5. Bundling of freight ﬂows and hinterland network developments Theo Notteboom INTRODUCTION 5.1 In the pre-container era boxes were shipped from the inland production centre to the nearest port and shipping lines designed routes to cover all ports within a coastal range, resulting in captive hinterlands and limited inter-port competition. Containerization and innovations to the inland transport systems led to a time–space convergence and made market players reconﬁgure and synchronize liner service schedules and associated hinterland networks. As a result, captive hinterlands have quickly been replaced by intensiﬁed competition between ports, with cargo moving more ﬂexibly from any inland location to any suitable port that interests an ocean carrier or shipper. Containerization and intermodality have strengthened the symbiotic relationship between foreland and hinterland in the sense that a true foreland–hinterland continuum has come into existence. In a shipping industry already dominated by large vessels, mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances, the potential cost savings at sea still left are getting smaller and the pressure to ﬁnd cost savings elsewhere is growing. Market players in the maritime industry have identiﬁed inland logistics as one of the most vital areas still left to cut costs, to add value and to increase proﬁtability. This has triggered an upsurge in the interest for landside segments of the transportation market. In their search for eﬃcient inland services, shipping lines, transport operators, port authorities and shippers have come up with network solutions leading to new dynamics in transport system...
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