International Trade

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1. Introduction The escalating liberalization of international trade that occurred during the decades following World War II under the impulse of various multilateral agreements and organizations has brought about a dramatic change in the geographic scope of logistics and freight transportation systems. While new trade ties have emerged with East Asia, long-time trading partners such as the United States and European nations have also intensified their trade relationships, to the point that the European Union is the largest trading partner of the United States and this trade represents 4% of U.S. gross domestic product (BEA, 2010). The intensification of long-haul trade routes has reinforced the critical role of seaports, as gateways to economic spaces and as nodes on the global deep-sea liner shipping networks (Goss, 1990; Notteboom and Rodrigue, 2007; Trongzon and Sawant, 2007). A countervailing force has been that shipping lines have now become dominant actors in world trade because they operate at the global scale and often have the option to route their services through one of multiple seaports (Slack, 1993). As Slack (1993) puts it, “no longer can ports expect to attract shipping lines because they are natural gateways to rich hinterlands” (p. 581), and so is it with containerized freight shipping business. Patterns and processes of competition between seaports have changed and can be expected to remain quite dynamic in the face of fast-paced changing business environments (Meersman et al., 2010). The purpose of this chapter is to depict the state of inter-port competition from a multidimensional perspective. To this end, we adopt the framework of the “functional economic space” (Gatrell, 1983) whose genesis is to be found... ... middle of paper ... ...oi, M. (2003). Shippers’ Port and Carrier Selection Criteria in China: A Discrete Choice Analysis, Maritime Economics & Logistics, 5, 23-39. United States International Trade Commission. (2007). HTS: 2007-07-02 - Revision 2, Official Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated., Accessed September 15, 2011. Trongzon, J.L., and Sawant, L. (2007). Port Choice in a Competitive Environment from the Shipping Lines’ Perspective. Applied Economics, 39, 447-492. Veldman, S.J., and Buckmann, E.H. (2003). A Model on Container Port Competition: An Application for the West European Container Hub-Ports. Maritime Economics & Logistics, 5, 3-22. Yan, J., and Thill, J.C. (2008). Visual Data Mining in Spatial Interaction Analysis with Self-organizing Maps. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36, 466-486.

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