Understanding the development of port and regional relationships: A new cooperation/competition matrix

Heather McLaughlin, Colm Fearon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This thought-piece article was developed as part of an international expert forum review for ports planning and maritime logistics. We examine some of the key ways in which seaports have developed from a position of direct competition to increasing collaboration in order to remain competitive in a fast-changing world. Strategic port cooperation is considered through a new conceptual cooperation/competition matrix, which can be used to evaluate the response strategies of ports to inter-port rivalry and changing maritime competitive dynamics. We address key discussion questions: What are the major types of cooperation in which ports are now engaged? What are the major maritime competitive dynamics? How should port authorities cooperate and plan moving forward towards 2030? The cooperation/competition matrix is not meant to be prescriptive, but rather offers a useful tool for holistic evaluation, to identify the way in which port strategy has changed over recent decades and indicate a direction for ports and regional planning in the twenty-first century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-294
Number of pages17
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Transportation


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