|World maritime cities: from which cities do container shipping companies make decisions?|
In: Transport Policy. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-070X; e-ISSN 1879-310X
World cities; Maritime economics; Globalisation; Urban networks
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In recent decades, many researchers have devoted themselves to the study of world cities. One of the most important contributions to world city research has come from the Globalisation and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC-Loughborough University). GaWC focuses on external relationships between world cities. It has analysed the world city network and the hierarchy between cities in various sectors, but primarily in advanced producer services (accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law). Previous studies have identified London, New York, Paris and Tokyo as high-level global service centres, followed closely by Chicago, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Milan and Singapore. Thus far, however, the maritime sector has been neglected in the identification and analysis of global cities. The main purpose of the present article is to fill this void.The first part of our analysis includes a study of the literature on world cities and an examination of the criteria and methods on which previous research has been based. In part II, we explore the world maritime city network by applying and interpreting the GaWC methods. For a city to be recognised as a world maritime city, it must have a presence of container shipping companies and container terminal operators. As for the city's operational capacity, that is determined by the extent of linkages between those container shipping companies and container terminal operators, on the one hand, and the rest of the world maritime market, on the other hand. The collected empirical evidence shows that Hong Kong, Hamburg, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, New Jersey/New York, Bangkok/Laem Chabang and London are the world's leading maritime cities. Furthermore, analysis of interrelations in these cities between shipping companies and container terminal has indicated Hong Kong, Hamburg and New York to be the main nodes in the world maritime city network.