Port Foreland and Hinterland
Two concepts reconcile ports and the markets they
service; the foreland and the hinterland. Both are binding imports and exports activities and the
geographical spaces they service.
The above figure assumes that the hinterland must be completely
serviced and that transportation costs are uniform. When
competition between ports is possible, there are two types of hinterlands:
In the contemporary setting where inland transportation is
getting more efficient, the fundamental hinterland is being
challenged by intense port competition, implying that
competition margins are expanding, particularly in areas where
several ports are present.
The foreland is the ocean-ward mirror of
the hinterland, referring to the ports and overseas markets
linked by shipping services from the port. It is above all a
maritime space with which a port performs commercial
relationships, namely its overseas customers. With the emergence
of feeder services and
hub ports, the concept of
foreland has been expanded as a port can service an hinterland
through a maritime link. The foreland is measured by the share of a port, or a group
of ports, being taken over their foreland relatively to the forelands
of other ports. It defines the interactions of a port with elements
of the global economy.
- The fundamental (main) hinterland is the space over
which a port has the dominant market share. The great majority
of the activities are thus using that port for imports or
- The competition margins are areas where two or more
ports are in competition. Users have the option of routing their
cargoes through a port or another based on factors such as
costs, capacity or convenience. A competition margin could be
different for imports or exports.