|Expansion in cargo handling: geographical and functional issues|
In: Maritime Policy and Management. Taylor & Francis: London. ISSN 0308-8839; e-ISSN 1464-5254
Cargo handling Materials handling Cargo tracking Freight handling Strategic planning Joint ventures Private sector Harbors
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Intense co-operation as well as severe competition are two characteristics of the current sea-port cargo-handling sector. This paper contributes to remedying the lack of understanding of the effects that such strategies may have on operating conditions in the sector. It analyses the geographical strategies pursued by the major operators up to 2006, as well as the functional directions in which co-operation is sought. It appears that most domestic ventures for the majority of container-handling operators are non-co-operative ones, except for PSA and HPH. Abroad, all of the cargo-handling operators except DPA/CSXWT have more co-operative than non-co-operative ventures. As to nationality of acquired subsidiaries, it is observed that most co-operative ventures have two nationalities involved. In terms of functional direction of operations, the major container-handling companies, except APM Terminals, start up most of their co-operative ventures with non-cargo-handling partners. Furthermore, it can be observed that HPH, APM Terminals, P&O Ports and DPA/CSXWT have started up, acquired or merged with more limited companies in cargo-handling than in non-cargo-handling activities. Most of the non-horizontal partners in cargo-handling ventures appear to be industrial or investment companies. PSA's, Eurogate's and DPA's non-cargo-handling ventures predominantly are in logistics. Combining geography and functional direction graphically shows that the major operators have had very diverging strategies. The two extremes are Eurogate, with a network which is solely focused on Europe, and P&O Ports, covering all continents.