Inland Water Transport as a Factor Influencing Mega-Ports and Seaport Cities Development (from the European North Sea Perspective)

Andrzej S. Grzelakowski


Inland water transport has played a significant role in the development of port cities and seaports all over the world for ages. As a dominant mode of inland transport until the rail and road have begun to prevail in the European transport systems, it has at first created and then shaped seaport hinterland in the majority of the European ports. However, its impact on these organisms, i.e. seaports and port cities has changed in many European countries in recent decades, due to the fact that it was getting weaker (logistics time constraints) and less competitive on the transport market. Consequently, in many European countries it has lost its impact on seaports hinterland and has been replaced by other less environmentally friendly modes of transport. This tendency is, however, not observed in the North Sea mega-ports as well as in many world biggest ports in Asia and North America, where inland shipping still maintains significant share in the port total turnover modal split. The reasons for such situation are analyzed in this article.


inland water ; North Sea ; inland shipping

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