In term of ton-kilometres, maritime transport is the most important means of transport. From an industrial and economic point of view, also, it is important to pay attention to maritime transport and its economics.
Seaports are essential elements of the maritime transport supply chain. Not only do they entail a collection of piers and quays, but they are the suppliers and clients of a lot of services, they invest and they create a lot of jobs and incomes. They are often catalysts of growth, which often implies that - although they create a lot of opportunities – a number of problems can arise.
In this respect, attention needs to be paid to:
1. With regard to maritime economic:
- Knowledge of the takeholder involved: shipping companies, brokers, shippers, expedition companies, stevedores, governmental bodies, et cetera;
- Knowledge of the main economic parameters of sea-going vessels in order to be able to assess problems with regard to ship meaurements, tonnage, capacities, et cetera;
- Knowledge of the main characteritics and evolutions (specialiation) with regard to maritime transport, including technological changes (cf. ro-ro, containeriation, …);
- Knowledge of ship management, both technically and economically;
- Knowledge of the main documents;
- Insight into important maritime issues such as the continuous lack of balance between supply and demand, the implication of the existing and future structure of world (sea) trade and the world fleet, the main shipping policies, the problem with regard to open register flag, et cetera.
2. With regard to port economics:
- The complexity of port functions;
- The correct understanding of port activities and statistics;
- The elaboration of a coherent port policy in a regional, a national and/or an international context;
- A modern port policy and operation;
- Government support with regard to port development and the opinion of the EU in that respect
- Determining and interpreting port capacity in view of strategic port planning
- Gaining sound insight into port management; port infrastructure and suprastructure; port terminals; port tariffs; port industrialiation; port labour; and port competition.