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    COVID-19 as a catalyst of a new container port hierarchy in Mediterranean Sea and Northern Range

    Fedi, Laurent and Faury, Oliver and Rigot-Müller, Patrick and Montier, Nicolas (2022) COVID-19 as a catalyst of a new container port hierarchy in Mediterranean Sea and Northern Range. Maritime Economics & Logistics, 24 (4). pp. 747-777. ISSN 1479-2931

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    COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the organization of value chains and the pattern of international trade. The manufacturing sector has had to act resiliently, and the maritime sector was no exception. Container shipping lines have adapted their routes, services and feet deployment with direct effects on many port activities. Our analysis focuses exclusively on container vessels by considering number of calls and calculating total containership capacity deployed within 45 Western Mediterranean and Northern European ports throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020. 2018 is considered as a ‘business as usual’ year, without exceptional events. 2019 is the start of the outbreak and 2020 is the year most impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic. As we cover at least one port in each country, we considered ports that handled more than one million TEUs per year and if the country did not have such a port, we considered the largest one. The aim of our analysis is dual. First, we attempt to point out the importance of certain ports as major hubs and the downgrading of others to regional hubs, gateways or feeder ports in the Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Second, our objective was to assess the way shipping alliances have impacted the ranking of these ports during COVID-19. As a result, this exceptional crisis has not been a catalyst of a new port hierarchy while it has revealed contrasting situations with ‘poor’ and ‘good’ crisis resilience for ports meaning that some were downgraded, and others maintained their ranking. Moreover, COVID-19 has exacerbated the maritime alliances’ shortcomings, their capacity to unilaterally impose their decisions through their Cooperative Working Agreements, regardless of the consequences both for transport users and ports. One of the key lessons of the COVID-19 crisis is that the time for change for maritime alliances has come.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Ports; Port hierarchy; Container shipping; Global shipping alliances; CWAs; COVID-19;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 17893
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Patrick Rigot Muller
    Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 15:43
    Journal or Publication Title: Maritime Economics & Logistics
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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