The development of intermodal barging has gained strategic importance in the hinterland transport systems of container seaports. This paper discusses strategies to develop container barge transport further as a hinterland system. This development is addressed in the context of U.S. ports, where container barge transport is still underdeveloped, and the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, which has the most extensive container barge hinterland system in Europe, but where continued development of container barge transport has been stagnating. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis is performed to define development strategies. Because of the different levels of container barge development in U.S. ports and the Port of Rotterdam, different strategies are needed. The main challenge for Rotterdam is to restructure the container barge hinterland system to restore its competitive strength in terms of cost and reliability, thereby enabling the port to handle much larger container volumes in an efficient way. The main causes of the problems are seaport related; that is, the inefficient handling of barges in the port, and hence the strategies used in Rotterdam should be focused on solving these problems. The causes of the underdevelopment of container barging in U.S. ports are much broader and, therefore, need a combination of general and context-specific strategies. A major conclusion is that in both cases multiple public- and private-sector actors have important roles to play to develop further the container barge hinterland system.,
Transportation Research Record
Erasmus School of Economics

Konings, R., van der Horst, I. W. J. M., Hutson, N., & Kruse, J. (2010). Comparative strategies for developing hinterland transport by container barge analysis for Rotterdam and U.S. ports. Transportation Research Record, (2166), 82–89. doi:10.3141/2166-10