The geography of container ports in Italy: the evolving role of gateway and transhipment functions


  • Marcello Tadini Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy


The paper tackles the issue related to the maritime containerized flows and their transport and handling in ports. The growth of maritime containerized traffic has determined a changing role of ports. The first part of the paper presents a brief review of the literature on the classification of container ports. Afterwards, it highlights the distinctive features and key functions of gateway ports, as well as the characteristics and role of transhipment hub ports. The second part of the article examines the case of Italy. Attention is focused on the main Italian ports that offer gateway and transhipment services. In particular, this study explores the geography of container flows and the recent evolutions of port functions. The paper aims to show the different roles of Italian container ports in the modern logistics supply chain. Besides it highlights how these ports can influence the national dynamics of imports and exports and their effects on the potential development of hinterland areas connected. The methodology used to analyse the Italian ports scenario can be proposed for educational aims, as well as to undertake similar studies in other areas.


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Topics on Geography of Transport and Logistics ed. by Borruso, Mazzarino, Tadini