Port competition is hinterland competition. When a region can be supplied from more than one port, the adequacy of the services in the port and their costs as well as the connections between these ports and their hinterland will be decisive for the question which port will be chosen. Notteboom (2008) emphasises that it is difficult to say exactly what is the hinterland of a port, that the hinterland can differ in time and for different kinds of cargo, and that ‘market dynamics makes it dangerous to have a static concept of ports hinterlands as being God-given and everlasting.’ Nonetheless, when looking to continental Western Europe, transport markets are characterised by the competition between a limited numbers of ports at least from the seventeenth century. 1 As an economist who just analysed the last few years, Notteboom is right when he comes to the conclusion that fluctuations are characteristic, but it may be useful to abstract from all these nervous day-to-day instabilities and draw a long line through the centuries. This chapter will try to do this for the ports of continental Western Europe. Thus it can be seen which long-term developments were decisive for the position of the different ports within the Hamburg-Le Havre range.

dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315601540, hdl.handle.net/1765/109430
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Klemann, H.A.M. (2017). Port competition in historical perspective, 1648-2000: The ports in the hamburg-le havre range. In Ports and Networks: Strategies, Operations and Perspectives (pp. 285–295). doi:10.4324/9781315601540