First session: Vertical and horizontal integration in liner shipping: no limits?
Horizontal integration in liner shipping has reached an unprecedented scale. Today, the top ten carriers control a substantial share of the world container slot capacity. A number of shipping lines reached their current status by organic growth. Other carriers partly relied on mergers and acquisitions to obtain market scale. On top of this, carriers are co-operating through multi-trade strategic alliances and slot chartering agreements. A number of shipping lines are also following vertical integration strategies. Carriers that have traditionally been concerned only with the transportation of goods from one point to another are now seeking tighter control of the terminal and landside segments of the transport chain. Besides cost and revenue considerations, the demand pull force of the market is a main driving force for carriers to integrate their services along the supply chain.
In this session industry leaders and academics will share their views on the limits to horizontal and vertical integration in liner shipping and the associated impact on ports.
Second session: Vertical and horizontal integration in the port industry: towards terminal networks?
Growing consolidation among shippers and carriers is having a significant impact on the terminal and stevedoring industry. There are bigger and fewer players demanding more and more for less. The container handling industry tries to respond to customers' constant drive to get costs down. Increasingly specialized ship-side services require more sophisticated equipment and increased capital requirements. In the last ten years, the container handling industry has been characterized by massive consolidation, vertical integration and the formation of terminal networks operated by international stevedoring groups. Port authorities and policy makers are challenged to cope with these emerging global terminal networks.
In this session, eminent speakers and panel members will address vertical and horizontal integration strategies of container terminal operators and analyze their impact on ports and port networks.
Third session: The China factor in the port industry
For most of the past quarter century, the unprecedented economic growth of Asia transformed the patterns of world trade and fuelled the globalization process. Especially China now attracts a lot of international attention. The Chinese economic boom is reflected onto the liner service schedules of major shipping lines. The liner trade speaks of the China factor. Rising volumes and upgraded infrastructure in Chinese ports make it more attractive for carriers to increase the number of direct calls, rather than rotating containers out by feeder to regional hubs. The China factor has resulted in major changes to the ranking of the world’s largest container ports, with Shanghai and Shenzhen now taking up positions three and four. The Asian economic boom is felt in European ports.
In this session, keynote speakers from Europe and China will share their views on the current and future impacts of the China factor in the port industry.
Fourth session: What role for port authorities?
Structural changes in inter-port relations, port-hinterland relationships and logistics have created a competitive market environment that has forced ports to become more market-oriented. Logistics integration in the transport industry results in a concentration of power at the port demand side. European seaports increasingly have to deal with large port clients who possess a strong bargaining power vis-à-vis terminal operations and inland transport operations. The loyalty of a port client cannot be taken for granted. The logistics-restructured market place raises questions on the active role of port authorities.
In this session port authorities, policy makers and academics will share their insights on the future role of port authorities. The discussion themes include concession policy and the selection of port service providers, the corporatisation of port authorities, port authorities and supply chains, the networking capabilities of port authorities and the distribution of costs and benefits of port activities.
Fifth session: Managing and developing port areas in a multi-stakeholders environment?
A port both technologically and economically is in fact a node for contacts and contracts, whereby every stakeholder is driven by its own interests and priorities. Some parties foster the economic value of ports, others are more directed towards the maximization of the social value or even the environmental value of ports. For port managers, there is no alternative than embarking on a quest for a value balance point that satisfies the prevailing market whilst minimizing the adverse effects on the community and the environment. This implies, port managers are increasingly faced with the dilemma of how to reconcile the competing claims of all kinds of stakeholders, certainly when it comes to port development and in particular to port extension.
In this session, various presentations will highlight sustainable port development in a multi-stakeholders perspective. Managerial and legal challenges to secure port development are identified.
Sixth session: Port-hinterland relationships: inland access and logistics developments
Seaports are key constituents of many supply chains and their pre-eminent role in international distribution is unlikely to be challenged in the foreseeable future. Two issues related to port-hinterland relationships deserve special attention. First of all, the inland accessibility to seaports poses major challenges. Intermodal solutions and corridor development have their role to play to safeguard the inland transport and distribution function of seaports. Secondly, the interaction between seaports and inland locations leads to the development of a large logistics pole. As the hinterland becomes a competitive location and linkages between ports and inland terminals are upgraded, the question remains as to which logistics activities are truly port-related.
This session deals with inland access to ports and the interaction between ports and logistics centres in the hinterland.