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Articulating intermodal chains through short-sea shipping: a method for assessing the performance of East African ports

Alba Martínez-López and Manuel Chica González

Maritime Policy & Management, 2023, vol. 50, issue 2, 235-253

Abstract: The location of East African ports, along with difficulties in building and maintaining effective road corridors, has led to the consideration of intermodal transport through Short Sea Shipping (SSS) as an alternative for load transport. However, this potential solution is dependent on the ports as consolidation load centres and on the configuration of transport networks. This paper provides a method to evaluate the performance of East African ports in their role as a hub for the intermodal chain. Specifically, through an assessment of port indicators ad hoc, the method jointly evaluates the performance of the hinterland’s capillary haul and port operations. The proposed indicators aggregately consider attributes of time and cost and compare competitiveness for ports’ current status with standard parameters. The application of the method to East African ports reveals that their tariff structure should be adapted to the operative reality of SSS. In addition, the loading time has not proven to be as determinant as the pre-berthing waiting time in the effectiveness of the intermodal chains.

Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2021.1976430

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