The refrigerated (‘reefer’) container market and cold logistics chains create opportunities and challenges for seaports. This high-value market grows rapidly, but places stringent demands on seaports’ logistics processes, infrastructure, and energy provision. This study investigates how port authorities can address challenges and opportunities in this dynamic market environment. While previous research has outlined developments in port governance paradigms and the strategic scope of port authorities, the academic literature still lacks a comprehensive understanding of the policy options available to port authorities to respond to arising challenges and opportunities. This study presents a new dataset of policies, implemented by world’s 50 largest container ports, addressing reefer transportation and cold chain logistics. Policy measures are classified according to content, goals, scope and port authority role. The findings from this worldwide comparative analysis illustrate that port authorities routinely pursue facilitating and entrepreneurial policies extending far beyond their traditional ‘landlord’ responsibilities. There is little evidence of coherent and comprehensive cold chain strategies of port authorities, addressing the logistics, marketing, technology, and sustainability dimensions. Based on the inventory of policies in the reefer segment, this study outlines the general tenets such a strategy should contain as a consideration for policymakers.

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European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research (Online)
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Geerlings, H., Castelein, B., & van Duin, R. (2020). Cold chain strategies for seaports; towards a worldwide policy classifcation and analysis. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research (Online), 20(3), 1–28. doi:10.18757/ejtir.2020.20.3.4074