Container ports competition in light of contemporary liner shipping market dynamics
Since the development of containers and Intermodalism in the late 1960's, containerization is constantly growing and penetrating almost all seaborne trade sectors, as by 2016 nearly1.7 billion tons were transported by container . Moreover, Container ports play an important role as nodes in the supply chain and focal points for containerized cargo as they complement and add value to the shipping lines and shippers' objectives. Moreover, competition among container ports is taking place at all
... levels regionally, nationally and internally. In the same context, shipping lines are competing vigorously and increasing their fleets in both size and number of vessels, resulting in excess market supply. Recently, shipping lines are consolidating rapidly by means of vertical and horizontal integration through mergers, acquisitions and forming alliances to cool down competition and backup each other as well as escape bankruptcy. This policy increased the market concentration and shipping lines bargaining power and exposed container ports to more competitive environment as well. The key point put forward in this paper is that the competitive battle among container ports will increasingly be fought with the presence of recent shipping lines market concentration. This paper illustrates the contemporary dynamics in the container shipping market. In that respect, the paper is divided into three main sections. The first one presents the port competition conceptual definition, types and landscapes. The second one outlines the analyses of the existing carriers' contemporary market dynamics. Finally, discusses the possible outcomes of different development policies of shipping companies, and how they affect ports' effectiveness and competitiveness.