Source: adapted from Monios, J. and G. Wilmsmeier (2012) "Giving a direction to port regionalization", Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 46(10), 1551-1561.
Inside-Out and Outside-In Port / Hinterland Integration
Comprehensive port-inland integration is uncommon and existing strategies tend to focus on the transportation function, whereas the logistics and supply chain functions are more the interest of regional and public development agencies. Port devolution and deregulation of port infrastructure and transport services in general has opened wider possibilities for cooperation and new scales for development. In order to convert these new possibilities into benefits of logistics integration it is important to first understand the drivers and strategies of actors and their emerging interrelationships. This new development offers an opportunity for policy implementation that reaches beyond the physical development of infrastructures and traditional port operations and addresses more strategic and integrated possibilities of developments. A divergence can be identified between two broad conceptual categories of hinterland logistics.
  • Outside-In (import logistics). A port-driven (port authority or terminal operator) form of hinterland logistics development. It tends to be operational in focus as it seeks to alleviate terminal and gate congestion and service more effectively the port (terminal) customers. This is conductive to the setting of satellite terminal facilities and inland ports.
  • Inside-Out (export logistics). A public or private sector driven form of hinterland logistic development. These actors are often not directly related to the port sector but are seeking logistics-oriented developments that enable to improve their competitive accessibility to global trade (exports). This is conductive to the setting of load centers that can be supported by public policy including incentives as well as direct investments in infrastructure and operations.
Still, facilities dealing jointly with inside-out and outside-in logistics can be established. The success or failure and source of port / hinterland integration can commonly be attributed to the existence of institutional barriers that prevent the efficient and effective operation of an integrated port-inland system. These can relate to policies or regulation (either over-regulation of transport services or under-regulation of inland terminal planning regimes), or operational aspects such as consolidation of market demand across political boundaries or finding space to marshal trains or transload cargo between two competing private rail networks.