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The Functional Structure Convergence of China’s Coastal Ports

Wei Wang (), Chengjin Wang () and Fengjun Jin ()
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Wei Wang: Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
Chengjin Wang: Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
Fengjun Jin: Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 12, 1-15

Abstract: Functional structure is an important part of a port system, and can reflect the resource endowments and economic development needs of the hinterland. In this study, we investigated the transportation function of coastal ports in China from the perspective of cargo structure using a similarity coefficient. Our research considered both adjacent ports and hub ports. We found that the transportation function of some adjacent ports was very similar in terms of outbound structure (e.g., Qinhuangdao and Huanghua) and inbound structure (e.g., Huanghua and Tangshan). Ports around Bohai Bay and the port group in the Yangtze River Delta were the most competitive areas in terms of outbound and inbound structure, respectively. The major contributors to port similarity in different regions varied geographically due to the different market demands and cargo supplies. For adjacent ports, the functional convergence of inbound structure was more serious than the outbound. The convergence between hub ports was more serious than between adjacent ports in terms of both outbound and inbound structure. The average similarity coefficients displayed an increasing trend over time. This study further develops the theory of transport geography, improves our understanding of China’s port transportation system, and can provide reference for policy-makers in their port development decisions.

Keywords: similarity coefficient; China’s coastal ports; functional structure; adjacent ports; hub ports (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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