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The UNCTAD and WORKPORT models of port

The UNCTAD and WORKPORT models of port - MARIT POL MGMT...

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MARIT. POL. MGMT ., APRIL JUNE 2004 VOL. 31, NO. 2, 93–107 The UNCTAD and WORKPORT models of port development: evolution or revolution? A. K. C. BERESFORD*, B. M. GARDNER and S. J. PETTIT Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Road, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK A. NANIOPOULOS Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 61 Ermou Str., P.C. 54623, Thessaloniki, Greece C. F. WOOLDRIDGE Cardiff School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University, PO Box 914, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3YE, UK Around ten years have elapsed since the UNCTAD model on port develop- ment was put forward as an explanation of how ports have adapted to incorpo- rate technological, political and operational changes. The UNCTAD Three Generation Port Model is critically examined in the light of research carried out under the WORKPORT project funded by the European Commission, 1998–1999. Evidence from the WORKPORT study shows that, rather than developing in discrete steps, ports evolve continuously, adapting to new tech- nologies, fresh legislation, revised working practices and other influences on an as-required basis. Further, it is demonstrated that several streams of evolution can be observed simultaneously; the pace of change within each stream can vary substantially. One of the prominent features of ports is that they often have several terminals, some operating along traditional lines while others may be leading edge in terms of technology, working practices or other aspects; all of them may be equally effective. The UNCTAD model, implying ports develop in discrete steps, or generations, is therefore shown to be fundamentally flawed. 1. Introduction In the early 1990s it was recognized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that there had been radical changes in the global patterns of port activity [1]. As part of a study considering the ‘development of the commer- cial function, promotion of the port area and of the concept of the port as a service centre’ the ensuing work programme considered the new role of ports and, in particular, why and how ports should be involved in developing their new role [2]. One of the outputs from the study was the development of a conceptual model which characterized ports as belonging to one of three ‘generations’ of development. This categorization was based around three key criteria: port development policy, Maritime Policy & Management ISSN 0308–8839 print/ISSN 1464–5254 online # 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals DOI: 10.1080/0308883042000205061 * Author for correspondence.
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strategy and attitude; the scope and extension of port activities; and the integration of port activities and organization. The categorization did not take into account a wide range of other factors, for example port size, geographical location or the extent of public/private sector involvement [3].
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