Port and Terminal Selection by Deep-sea Container Operators

Port and Terminal Selection by Deep-sea Container Operators


B W Wiegmans, TU Delft and TRAIL Research School, NL; A van der Hoest, TU Delft, NL; T Notteboom, ITMMA, University of Antwerp, BE



This paper focuses on the research question: On what basis do deep-sea container operators select container ports and container terminals in the Hamburg-Le Havre range over others? The focus is not on the best location, the most efficient port, or other efficiency issues, but instead we try to understand and analyse the decision-making process of deep-sea container carriers when selecting a container port and when selecting a container terminal in the port in which to invest or from where to buy handling capacity. This paper adds to the existing literature on the strategic behaviour of deep-sea container carriers and the consequences for ports and other strategic actors (e.g. governments). Section 2 of the paper describes the markets of deep-sea carriers and container operators on a global scale. In Section 3, container ports are dealt with at the level of the Hamburg?Le Havre range. In Section 4, decision-making theory will be described and built into a theoretical model that serves as the basis for the analysis of the decision making of deep-sea container operators. Section 5 compares the results of in-depth interviews with 12 deep-sea container operators. Finally, in Section 6, a number of conclusions are


Association for European Transport