Transport Integration at European Ports: Measuring the Role and Position of Intermediaries
The integration of ports within logistics and supply chains has become a major issue for both public and private players worldwide. Notably, the role of intermediaries in establishing efficient integration within transport chains in which ports are embedded is not well-known. International comparison is limited by the drastic lack of quantifiable information about inter-firm linkages and intermodal operations. Based on a European business database, this paper analyses the modal portfolio and employment distribution of about 8,000 transport firms, intermodal operators, and freight forwarders among 80 European ports. It allows measuring the degree to which different industries such as port activities, logistics, warehousing, road, sea, river, rail, and air transport, integrate within firms and within ports. Main results of the quantitative analysis show that transport integration and port performance have significant interdependence, but this is influenced by hinterland size, accessibility, and regional legacies differentiating Northern from Southern ports.
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