“A port is only as strong as its hinterland connections”, is a popular saying. Without a network of well-functioning hinterland connections all investments in a port or terminal will be in vain. A large number of factors play a role both from an infrastructure and organizational side. Sometimes the infrastructure capacity is sufficient but other factors play a role, or vice versa. In some countries both are an issue. In particular fast growing economies have challenges in this area. Nowadays we see some container terminal operators and shipping lines compete on their access/control over hinterland logistics.
Developing proper hinterland logistics is also often seen as a possibility to develop an economy and increase business in a port.
PCR has been involved in quite a few projects where hinterland logistics play a key role in de-congesting a port and improving the efficiency of a port or terminal as a whole. PCR has also experience with the development of various logistics driven initiatives such as Inland Container Depots, Dry Ports, Logistics zones and Special Economic Zones to help develop an economy. These previous projects were carried out in both the developed world and the developing countries.
Recently PCR has been involved in the development of integrated logistics systems (such as synchromodality) covering various inland terminals and various modes of transport in order to enhance the competitive position of a port, a terminal operator or shipping line.
Hinterland logistics methodology
The approach followed is like with most port investments. A potential cargo flow is identified which has its own specific requirements in terms of transport, storage and handling. These requirements are translated into technical and organizational solutions and subsequent investments. In some instances it is possible to include (some of) the benefits from the de-congestion of the port or terminal into the (business case) of the project. Thorough understanding of the logistics and organization structures is required to carry out and implement such projects/initiatives. In some cases PPP structures may prove to be helpful.
Well-developed hinterland logistics are relevant for all economies and ports. In fact they allow to increase the efficiency of a port and hence reduce investment and reduce cost. Quite often; well-developed hinterland logistics are a key factor for competition between ports and shippers/shipping line preference. Ports where hinterland logistics are well developed benefit from increased investments from international companies who want to establish a business in the port or country.
If you want to know more about what PCR can mean for your port or terminal or if you have any other enquiries, please contact us!