Ports in Global Supply Chains: Challenges and Opportunities



Rob Zuidwijk, Endowed Professor, Ports in Global Networks, Rotterdam School of Management


Author's note: This paper focuses on the on business developments in global supply chains and the accompanying logistics challenges for ports and port hinterlands, driven by the opportunities that new technologies provide. It discusses a number of challenges related to the organization of global supply chains and container logistics markets.

Ports have become increasingly aware of their role in global supply chains, and they commit to supply chain collaboration, including exchange of information, to help create value. There is only one problem. Port supply chains, which comprise of maritime transport, port handling, and hinterland transport, are not identical to shipper supply chains, as they manifest themselves at another scale level. This is best illustrated by considering the arrival of a deep sea vessel at a main seaport with call size of thousands of containers…

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