Summary - TST 10


TST 10

Reginald Loyen & Erik Buyst
Port competition and how to measure it: the case of Antwerp and Rotterdam (1950-2000)

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Key words: Port history; port competition; value added; Antwerp; Rotterdam.

[ Abstract ]

Taking the lack of truly comparative port studies as a starting point, the article examines the competition between seaports based on a proper methodology and compatible time-series. The article firstly discusses the traditional analysis of seaborne throughput as well as an alternative analysis of the value added created by handling the commodities in the ports. Secondly, the sources necessary for both analyses are briefly commented. The third paragraph applies both of these techniques to the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam for the post-war period. It concludes that the two methods yield diverging results and that an analysis of value added is preferable. Whereas seaborne throughput continuously rises on a year-by-year basis, value added stagnates in both seaports. The article also makes it clear that the Antwerp lead in terms of value added has been challenged successfully by the Rotterdam port.