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Coordination in Hinterland Transport Chains: A Major Challenge for the Seaport Community

Martijn R Van Der Horst () and Peter de Langen ()
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Martijn R Van Der Horst: Department of Port, Transport and Regional Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burg. Oudlaan 50 – 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Maritime Economics & Logistics, 2008, vol. 10, issue 1-2, 108-129

Abstract: Many different private companies – shipping lines, terminal operating companies, forwarders, hinterland transport providers, and inland terminal operators – are involved in hinterland transport. In addition, different public actors such as the port authority, customs, and infrastructure managers are involved. Creating effective hinterland transport chains requires the coordination between all these actors; coordination does not come about spontaneously. Its development may be hindered by free-riding problems, a lack of contractual relationships, information asymmetry, and a lack of incentives for cooperation. This paper presents analyses of the coordination problems in hinterland chains of seaports and arrangements to resolve these problems. The most relevant coordination problems in hinterland chains are discussed. Based on insights from institutional economics, four main categories of arrangements to improve coordination are identified: the introduction of incentives, the creation of an interfirm alliance, changing the scope of the organisation, and collective action. An analysis is presented of a substantial number of coordination arrangements in hinterland transport to and from the port of Rotterdam, thereby indicating how coordination could be improved. Maritime Economics & Logistics (2008) 10, 108–129. doi:10.1057/palgrave.mel.9100194

Date: 2008
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