The natural evolution of sea-ports brought by the introduction of the container has lead to an environment of increasing inter-port competition for serving contestable hinterlands. The ports in the Hamburg – Le Havre range have been one of the most fiercely competing ports as virtually all of them are serving the same hinterland – mainland Europe. Every port has developed its hinterland connections and is trying to gain access to as many freight corridors as possible using different modes of hinterland transport and national governments have made tremendous investments in infrastructure projects to facilitate the flows of cargo. One such infrastructure project is the planned construction of the Seine Nord Europe canal. Essentially connecting the river Seine to the Europe‟s main waterway network, it will enable the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Dunkirk to access the Ile-de-France region by barge. It is expected that fierce competition will develop for the newly-accessible hinterland and the Port of Le Havre will lose its nearly monopolistic position. This thesis is exploring the future market situation in the Ile-de-France after the Seine Nord Europe will be opened, taking the perspective of the Port of Rotterdam. The overall market potential of the region has been determined using a regression tool with past data and estimations of future explanatory factors. After, a scenario analysis with cost data has been used to evaluate the competitiveness of barging on the route from the Port of Rotterdam to Ile-de-France compared to the currently used mode – trucking. Finally, a more holistic perspective has been taken, appraising the potential competitiveness of the Port of Rotterdam in Ile-de-France through adopting a supply chain perspective.

Baan, D. (Donald)
Maritime Economics and Logistics
Erasmus School of Economics

Zlatev, N. (Nikolay). (2011, September 21). The Seine Nord Europe canal – a growth opportunity for the Port of Rotterdam?. Maritime Economics and Logistics. Retrieved from