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Seaports and the structural implications of the economic crisis

By Athanasios A. Pallis and Peter W. de Langen


The 2008 credit crunch and the subsequent economic crisis ended a period that lasted over two decades wherein international seaports around the globe experienced double-digit volume increases. This chapter provides an analysis of the structural effects that the crisis has on seaports, focusing mostly on developments in Europe. It does so via an examination of (a) the crisis implication for each of the four major types of transport flows that account for the vast majority of port throughput worldwide; (b) the prospects for future capacity organisation and development, given the realignment of the involvement strategies that the various stakeholders (i.e., governments, port authorities, service providers, users, investors) endorse in reaction to the financial tsunami; and (c) the adjustment opportunities, that the trade downturn unintentionally provides, allowing for correction of existing misallocations in the sector via the deployment of relevant adjustment strategies by the related actors. Recapping the identified structural consequences, the final section concludes on the changing role and responsibilities of port authorities and the [`]new issues' that will require further investigation in the post-financial tsunami era.Seaports Economic crisis Throughout drivers Adjustment strategies

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