Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A theory on the co-evolution of seaports with application to container terminal development in the Rhine-Scheldt Delta

By Wouter Jacobs and Theo Notteboom


How do seaports evolve in relation to each other? Recent studies in port economics and transport geography focused on how supply chain integration has structurally changed the competitive landscape in which individual ports and port actors operate. Port regionalization has been addressed as the corresponding new phase in the spatial and functional evolution of port systems. However, these studies lack theoretical foundations that allow us to empirically assess both the role of the institutional context and of strategic agency in the competitive (spatial and functional) evolution of regional (integrated) port systems. The paper presents a theoretical framework to analyze and understand the co- evolution of seaports in a regional context by making use of the concept of windows of opportunity. The empirical part will unravel the role of seaport-based co-evolution in the processes aimed at positioning market players and ports on the container scene in the Rhine-Scheldt, seaports, regionalization, institutions, economic geography

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2007a), Port competition between Los Angeles and Long Beach. An institutional analysis, Tijdschrift voor de economische en sociale geografie,
  2. A Geographical Political
  3. (2008). A New Approach to Port Choice Modeling.
  4. (2007). A Theory of Institutional Change; illustrated by Dutch city-provinces and Dutch land policy,
  5. (1998). Annual report ESPO 2007-2008, ESPO:
  6. (2001). Chains and networks, territories and scales: towards a relational framework for analysing the global economy,
  7. (2009). Complementarity and substitutability among adjacent gateway ports,
  8. (2006). Concession agreements as port governance tools, in:
  9. (1981). Containerization and the load center concept,
  10. (2009). Evolution in economic geography: Institutions, political economy, and adaptation.
  11. (1999). Evolutionary economics and economic geography,
  12. (2004). Globalizing regional development: a global networks perspective,
  13. (2006). Guest Editorial: Re-exploring the interface between economic and transport geography,
  14. (1997). New industries and windows of locational opportunity. A long term analysis of
  15. Path dependency and contingency in the development of multi-port gateway regions and multi-port hub regions, in:
  16. (1993). Pawns in the game: ports in a global transportation system,
  17. (2007). Political Economy of Port Competition. Institutional Analyses of Rotterdam,
  18. (2005). Port regionalization: towards a new phase in port development,
  19. (2002). Ports as elements in value-driven chain systems: the new paradigm,
  20. (2003). Regional Institutional Convergence? Reflections from the Baltimore Waterfront.
  21. (2005). Rethinking relational economic geography,
  22. (2002). Strategic alliances in the container shipping industry: a global perspective,
  23. (2001). Structural changes in logistics: how will port authorities face the challenge?,
  24. (2006). The box. How the shipping container made the world smaller and the world economy bigger,
  25. (1989). The capitalist imperative: territory, technology and industrial growth,
  26. (1995). The implications of increased competition among ports for port policy and management,
  27. (2004). The whereabouts of power: politics, government and space, Geografiska Annaler,
  28. (1986). Transport and trade.
  29. (1963). Transport expansion in underdeveloped countries: a comparative analysis,
  30. (2007). What conditions the supply chain strategies of ports? The case of Dubai,
  31. (2006). Why is economic geography not an evolutionary science? Towards and evolutionary economic geography,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.