Cold Chain Strategies for Seaports: Towards a Worldwide Policy Classification and Analysis

Castelein R.B., Harry Geerlings, Ron van Duin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The reefer container market and global cold chains present several opportunities
for seaports. This high-value market grows rapidly, but also places demands on ports’ logistics processes, infrastructure, and energy provision. The current academic literature lacks a comprehensive understanding of the policy options available to port authorities to address these types of challenges and opportunities. Based on a survey of the world’s 50 largest container ports, this study presents a new dataset of policies ports implement in the area of reefer transportation and cold chain logistics. The policies are analyzed in terms of
their content, goals and scope. Most commonly, the scope is limited to the port cluster, where ports often (co)-invest in or aim for cluster formation around cold stores within the port.
When a port broadens its strategic scope, this is aligned with policy goals formulated at higher levels of governance, such as modal shift goals or the development of domestic postharvest distribution systems. There is little evidence that port authorities pursue policies in line with an overarching strategy, taking into account the logistics, marketing, technology,
and sustainability dimensions of cold chains. The paper outlines the general tenets such a strategy should contain as a consideration for policymakers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of BIVEC-GIBET Transportation Research Days 2019
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventBIVEC-GIBET Transportation Research Days 2019 - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 23 May 201924 May 2019


ConferenceBIVEC-GIBET Transportation Research Days 2019


  • container transport
  • reefer containers
  • Q methodology
  • port policy;
  • ports
  • cold chain


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