Edited by Gordon Wilmsmeier and Jason Monios
Chapter 4: Geography versus topology in the evolution of the global container shipping network (1977–2016)
The dynamic properties of so-called spatial and complex networks are often overlooked in graph theory and network science in general. Container shipping provides a rare example of a global transport network that has undergone tremendous technological and geographic changes in the last decades or so. This chapter proposes for the first time an empirical analysis of no less than 40 years of inter-port vessel movement data to describe the evolving properties of the global container shipping network. Main results confirm a number of stylized facts, including the growing size, connectivity and centralization of this network due to several factors such as economies of scale in liner shipping and the rationalization of related maritime services, the emergence of hub ports, etc. We also provide a new cartography of how the global container shipping network had been geographically distributed over time, thereby highlighting major shifts in terms of port hierarchies and main corridors. We believe that this chapter will contribute to a better understanding of the complex linkages between network structure, technological change and spatial change, opening the way for new research paths on maritime transport research and network science in general when focusing on evolutionary dynamics.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.