Terminals as Clusters and Growth Poles
Terminals favor the agglomeration of related activities in their
proximity and often adjacent to them (co-location). This terminal-client link mainly
involves warehousing and distribution activities (A). The contribution of transport
terminals to regional economic growth can often be substantial. As regional demand grows, so does the traffic handled by the related terminal.
This is turn can spur further investments to expand the capabilities
of the terminal and the creation of a new terminal (B). Economists have identified clusters as a critical element
in shaping competition between countries, regions and
industries. Clusters are defined as interdependent organizations that operate
in the same value chain and are geographically concentrated.
can be applied to seaports, which are made up
of firms engaged in the transfer of goods in the port and their distribution
in the foreland or hinterland. It also includes logistics activities as well as processing
firms and administrative bodies such as a port authority. The performance of the seaport cluster
is defined as the added value generated by the cluster, and is shaped
by the interrelationships between the structure of the cluster and its
governance. Cluster structure refers to the agglomeration effects and
the degree of internal cohesion and competition. Cluster governance
relates to the mix of, and relations between, organizations and institutions
that foster coordination and pursue projects that improve the cluster
as a whole.
Cluster theory underlines that port activity,
historically at least, generates strong agglomeration economies that
produce strong spatially distinct port communities. Despite similarities
in results from economic impact studies, airports and rail terminals
have received limited attention of cluster theorists. Still, the
setting of inland ports
represent a novel form of clustering around rail terminals.