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Port Value Chains and the Role of Interdependencies

Maritime Logistics

ISBN: 978-1-78052-340-8, eISBN: 978-1-78-052341-5

Publication date: 12 January 2012


The chapter analyses the ways actors in seaports are embedded in network configurations and develop Business to Business (B-2-B) relations. It also discusses the ways that the latter relations result in functional and relational values. The emphasis is on the presence of port value chains, wherein positioning and effective networking contribute to the total value proposition to the involved actors.

The chapter grounds on a literature review on B-2-B relations and the role of interdependencies developed between stakeholders within industrial markets. The empirical data discussed afterwards lead to the identification and analysis of the different types of interdependencies that might be found within port settings. In this context, the concept of port value chains is put forward. Interdependencies are attached to the various relationships developed between port stakeholders, in order to derive meaningful conclusions. The research is based and data provided through semi-structured interviews with major port stakeholders (e.g. port authorities, shipping lines, freight forwarders etc.) in a number of European seaports (Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Piraeus etc.).

The importance of co-creation of value via matching resources with upstream and downstream entities is established. The chapter also details how actors interdependence as a significant variable determining the level of co-creating value. The empirical analysis provides insights about the existence of three types of interdependencies in ports (namely, serial, pooled and reciprocal) that are found in a number of distinctive relationships developed between, terminal operators, freight forwarders, shipping lines and other key port actors.

In reference to future research, two fields are identified and are worth to be examined in terms of both academic and practical scope. These are the examination of relationship management and of the value generated in seaports respectively.

The present chapter is a first attempt to link port stakeholders’ interdependencies with relationships generated throughout the process, and generate knowledge on what influences the value offered in seaports. Moreover, the innovative concept of port value chains is established.




The conducted research has been financially supported by the ‘Training of Researchers-Operational Program “Competitiveness”’ (PENED-03ED647) research project, co-financed by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Greek Ministry of Development and the Third European Community Support Program.


Vitsounis, T.K. and Pallis, A.A. (2012), "Port Value Chains and the Role of Interdependencies", Song, D.-W. and Panayides, P.M. (Ed.) Maritime Logistics, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 155-174.



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