The corporate geography of global container terminal operators
Maritime Policy & Management
The terminal and stevedoring industry is confronted with several challenges, including economies of scale in maritime shipping and competition from new entrants, in particular from container carriers, logistics companies and investment groups, the massification of hinterland distribution and stringent performance requirements from its customers. In response to the concentration trend that is unfolding in container shipping, a number of terminal operators have opted for scale increases and the
... increases and the development of global networks. One of the most multinational industries known to exist has emerged within global freight distribution. There is thus an emerging corporate geography in the container terminal sector with issues related to the similarities or differences among terminal locations, the processes leading to the expansion of these holdings and the interactions they maintain as nodes within the global freight distribution system. The paper deals with the geographical characteristics of the investment strategies of global terminal operators in the container industry. It will demonstrate that terminal operators are becoming multinational enterprises (MNEs) with varying degrees of involvement in the main cargo handling markets around the world. It analyzes how the global terminal networks emerged and to what extent the global terminal operators are really "global". It also aims at unravelling the corporate geography of the investment strategies of global terminal operators such as Hutchison Ports Holding, PSA, DP World and APM Terminals, but also operators that are more regionally focused, such as Ports America, Eurogate, SSA and ICTSI.