A scenario discovery study of the impact of uncertainties in the global container transport system on European ports

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Abstract

The global container transport system is changing quickly. Ports can be severely affected by these changes; therefore, ports need insight into how the system might change and what the impact of this will be on their competitive position. Given the intrinsic complexity of the container transport system and the presence of a wide range of deeply uncertain factors affecting the system, we use an exploratory modeling approach to study future scenarios for the global container network. Using scenario discovery and worst-case discovery, we assess the implications of various uncertain factors on the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam. It is found that overall the competitive position of Rotterdam is quite robust with respect to the various uncertain factors. The main vulnerability is the quality of the hinterland connections. A modest deterioration of the quality of the hinterland connections, resulting in increased travel time, will result in a loss of throughput for Rotterdam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-160
Number of pages13
JournalFutures: the journal of policy, planning and futures studies
Volume81
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Container shipping
  • Deep uncertainty
  • Global freight logistics
  • Scenario discovery

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