Analysis of the relevance of location for port activity

  1. Grecco Zanon Moura, Ticiana
Supervised by:
  1. Lorena García Alonso Director
  2. David Roibás Alonso Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Oviedo

Fecha de defensa: 17 May 2019

  1. Alan Wall Chair
  2. Fernando Rubiera Morollón Secretary
  3. Fernando González Laxe Committee member
  4. Miguel Ángel Márquez Paniagua Committee member
  5. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Committee member
  1. Economía Aplicada

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 592376 DIALNET lock_openRUO editor


Ports are a critical infrastructure for international trade. On the one hand, their performance is of interest to all the stakeholders involved in the global supply chain because they act as a gateway and, consequently, their services are offered both to shipping lines and shippers. On the other hand, they are also of interest to policy- makers since their activity influences transport costs and, hence, affects both the national and regional competitiveness. From the perspective of the hinterland, the inland distribution of maritime flows depends on the infrastructure endowment and the success of the corresponding port when competing for the traffic. In this process, the result of the strategies of port authorities depends not only on their own management skills, but also on factors beyond their control. Many studies conclude that the geographical features of ports play a key role in their attractiveness. Thus, the characteristics linked to geographical location of ports can be expected to influence port performance. This is the starting point of this research, focused on the Spanish port system as a case study. The structure of the work is as follows. Chapter 2 is devoted to delimiting the scope of the hinterland of ports. This is a useful first step for port managers and policy-makers when designing port strategies and the map of infrastructures. To achieve this goal, an adapted Huff Model, a Spatial Interaction Model developed to measure trade areas, was applied. As repulsion and attractiveness factors, the province-port travel time along the road network and the port’s container throughput were considered, respectively. The starting point of Chapter 3 is the potential relationship between two very different facts: the increasing influence of Asian economies in international trade and the increasing share of the ports of the Mediterranean region in the European port system. Many papers analyse the role of transport infrastructure in the economic development and competitiveness of regions. However, the literature has paid little attention to the impact of the changing patterns of international trade on the use of the infrastructure. To that end, an origin-constrained Spatial Interaction Model was applied to verify whether the evolution of the geographical pattern of foreign trade influences the inter-port distribution of maritime flows. From the results obtained, it became clear that the spatial structure of the studied flows is of considerable importance. Consequently, the purpose of Chapter 4 is to verify the presence of spatial interaction effects, both exogenous and endogenous, on the inter-port distribution of maritime traffic. To address this task, the Spatial Econometric Interaction Modelling framework was followed, and a Spatial Durbin Model was applied. In Chapter 5, the viewpoint of the analysis of the relevance of the geographical factors in port activity changes, and the focus shifts from the inland side to the coast. It is devoted to studying the impact of waves and wind on the technical efficiency of ports by means of an output distance function approach. This is recommendable when planning the port endowment, particularly important in a context of climate change. Finally, Chapter 6 summarises the main conclusions drawn from the analysis conducted and suggests lines of research to be considered in the future.