The Concept of Port’s Hinterland and Its Significance in the Case of the Mainport Rotterdam
|The concept of a port’s hinterland||4|
|Rotterdam mainport and its hinterland||5|
The most traditional definitions of a port stress its importance as a place where the mode of transportation changes from land to waterborne systems. But it can also be seen as a geographical point, characterized by circumstances of intense interaction between land and sea, which provide a background for economical activities of major importance for cities, regions and states and also reflects to a certain extent their development, competition and interrelatedness.
However, it is beyond doubt that the primary function of a port is the transshipment function. Due to the importance of this primary function ports are usually associated with the realm of water, ships and alike. But in this paper I wanted to learn more about the “other side” behind the seashore – the land and its significance in port’s functioning and development.
I chose the port of Rotterdam to be the object of my study not only because it is the most significant port of Europe, so the sources and data would be easy to find, but also because of their big variety, which allows to see the topic from different aspects, making it a highly exciting theme.
The main research question of the study was:
What does the hinterland concept mean in the case of Rotterdam port, what are its boundaries and the geographical extent on the European continent?
I also wanted to find out what is the role of port’s hinterland in its development and how it affects the port’s competitive position in relation to other ports.
The paper consists of three parts. In the first part I try to find out from different sources what exactly does the concept of hinterland imply. In the second part at first I briefly describe several aspects related to ports history which have played role in Rotterdam port’s development in the context of my study goal. Then I turn to discussing the aspects from which the hinterland concept can be regarded in the case of the Rotterdam port and what is its geographical reach. The third part is devoted to Rotterdam’s competitive position among other ports in the region.
I use graphs and figures to summarize and visualize the statistical information, in order to ease the comparison and evaluation of data. A map is also included in the work.
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