Cascading feeder vessels and the rationalisation of small container ports

Past event — 27 January 2016

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Prof. Jason Monios

Associate Professor

Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University


Small container ports rely on feeder services from hub ports to provide access to unitised trade flows for their hinterlands. They generally possess limited water depth and handling facilities, as investments required to handle larger vessels are not justified by their low container throughput. This paper questions the future of small ports due to larger vessels cascading down as a result of ever-larger vessels on the major trade lanes. Findings suggest that, just as container ports at the larger end of the scale were rationalised as flows concentrated at major hubs, several drivers exist for the same process to occur at small ports. Consequently, the paper asks how small ports and local shippers will cope, whether such ports lose their connections entirely, if local shippers must pay for an additional handling cost to tranship a second time from large feeder to small feeder, or whether they rely on overland transport links.

About the presenter

Dr Jason Monios is Associate Professor in Transport Planning and Geography and Head of the Freight Transport and Logistics group at the Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University, UK. His primary research areas are intermodal transport planning and the geography of port systems, with a specific interest in how these two subjects intersect in the port hinterland. Jason has over 50 peer-reviewed academic publications in addition to numerous research and consultancy reports, covering Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He has co-authored technical reports with UNCTAD and UN-ECLAC and in 2015 he was the expert adviser to the Scottish parliament on their freight transport consultation. Jason's book Institutional Challenges to Intermodal Transport and Logistics was published in 2014 and Intermodal Freight Terminals: A Life Cycle Governance Framework will be published in 2016. Jason is the programme leader for the MSc Maritime Transport & Logistics, commencing in Sept 2016, and module leader for Maritime Geography & Trade and Contemporary Issues in Maritime Logistics.

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About the Seminar

The KLU research seminar series is a regular meeting of PhD students, Post-Docs and professors who conduct research in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The research seminar is open to the public and we happily welcome guests.