Inland ports have been put forward as crucial linkages for efficient global freight transport and corridor development. However, the present understanding of inland ports appears to be limited to network-based views with a maritime port focus (Outside-In), in which inland ports play second fiddle. We argue that inland ports as independent structures (Inside-Out) deserve equal consideration and that in addition to the transport dimension, the spatial, economic and institutional dimensions of inland ports are vital and should not be neglected. The goal of this paper is to apply the concept of port-city challenges to inland ports. The results of an institutional analysis of Dutch case study evidence show that challenges facing inland ports and cities take many forms but that all share a commonality in the trade-offs between positive and negative externalities. We observe different governance strategies in coping with these trade-offs and find that a proactive stance towards zoning contributes to efficiently accommodating mutually exclusive dimensions of inland port development. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd
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