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Revealing the Linkage Network Dynamic Structures of Chinese Maritime Ports through Automatic Information System Data

Hongchu Yu (), Zhixiang Fang (), Guojun Peng () and Mingxiang Feng ()
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Hongchu Yu: State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing (LIESMARS), Wuhan University, Luoyu Road 129, Wuhan 430079, China
Zhixiang Fang: State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing (LIESMARS), Wuhan University, Luoyu Road 129, Wuhan 430079, China
Guojun Peng: Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, 304 Burchfiel Geography Building Knoxville, Knoxville, TN 37996-0925, USA
Mingxiang Feng: State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing (LIESMARS), Wuhan University, Luoyu Road 129, Wuhan 430079, China

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 10, 1-17

Abstract: Marine economic cooperation has emerged as a major theme in this era of globalization; hence, maritime network connectivity and dynamics have attracted more and more attention. Port construction and maritime route improvements increase maritime trade and thus facilitate economic viability and resource sustainability. This paper reveals the regional dimension of inter-port linkage dynamic structure of Chinese maritime ports from a complex multilayer perspective that is meaningful for strategic forecasting and regional long-term economic development planning. In this research, Automatic Information System (AIS)-derived traffic flows were used to construct a maritime network and subnetworks based on the geographical locations of ports. The linkage intensity between subnetworks, the linkage tightness within subnetworks, the spatial isolation between high-intensity backbones and tight skeleton networks, and a linkage concentration index for each port were calculated. The ports, in turn, were analyzed based on these network attributes. This study analyzed the external competitiveness and internal cohesion of each subnetwork. The results revealed problems in port management and planning, such as unclear divisions in port operations. More critically, weak complementary relationships between the backbone and skeleton networks among the ports reduce connectivity and must be strengthened. This research contributes to the body of work supporting strategic decision-making for future development.

Keywords: maritime network; network dynamic structure; Automatic Information System; linkage intensity; linkage tightness; spatial isolation; concentration index (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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