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Port Cooperation: An Academic Viewpoint Part One

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Author(s): Joost Hintjens, PhD-candidate, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Cooperation between seaports is an ever-recurring topic. Some academics have given it some attention, but it receives repeated exposure in the professional, specialized press. Although many different governance structures of seaports exist, many are locally owned by public authorities and have limited operational responsibilities. The so-called ‘Hanseatic’ landlord type invests government money in infrastructure which will then be used by private companies. Every now and then someone will ask if these investments couldn’t be avoided by cooperating with neighbouring ports that are also using treasured tax dollars.

Cooperation, typically, can be horizontal and vertical, the latter being the actual backbone of any global supply chain, or supply network, as it should be more precisely called.

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