Freight transportation flows: New trade regions and trade routes
This paper highlights the trends in global freight transportation which has recently shown intense growth but also a “new” geography of flows. In particular the analysis describes the growth in relation to GDP with reference to destinations (Europe, United States) and to the origin of flows. The trends identified show the emergence of new patterns of routes and nodes. Moreover, logistic services are proving to be an advantage for the Mediterrean area which is the place of transshipment and unloading of containers arriving from Asia. At present, there is not a strict hierarchy between hubs in the Mediterrean basin, in contrast with what has happened in the North of Europe. In Southern Europe, the competition among regions to attract these new flows is becoming fierce. Factors playing a fundamental role in this scenario are: accessibility to the main populated and economically dynamic regions of Europe, existing infrastructure (although there is a need to update and modernise facilities), regional development policies, and, above all, the strategies of the global terminal operators.