Ph.D. Defense by Pisit Jarumaneeroj

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Ph.D. Defense by Pisit Jarumaneeroj

Title: An Economics Study of Container Ports in the Global Network of Container-Shipping
Date and Time: Monday 27th, October 2014, at 10 AM.
Location: Groseclose 204 - Academic Office

Advisor: Professor John J Bartholdi
Committee: Professor Chelsea C. White, Professor Alan Erera, Professor Alejandro Toriello, and Professor Amar Ramudhin (The Logistics Institute, University of Hull)

This dissertation focuses on three topics. The first is the construction of a new network model based on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI), which is a measure reflecting trade intensity between ports. We then use such a model to better understand the patterns of world trade.

We also propose a new measure, called the Container Port Connectivity Index (CPCI), to more accurately reflect the relative importance of container ports within the global network of container-shipping. Unlike any of the existing measures, this index is based on both economics and network topology, where the strength of a port is based on the strength of its connection to neighbors, and neighbors of those neighbors, and so on - not just on local information such as the number of TEUs handled or direct links to other ports. As measured by the CPCI, the most important ports are not necessarily those with the most links, or those handling the most TEUs, but the ones with good connections to other well-connected ports. This is a reflection of fact that the CPCI does not depend only on the number of links but also on link quality and the connectivity of the ports to which they connect.

This thesis also proposes a framework for evaluating market stability of a logistics hub in a competitive environment. In particular, we build a model to predict how the community of liners calling at a hub might develop as the result of actions by competitors. We can use such a model to study the behavior of liners, as well as the resulting trade-flow changes, as the system gradually moves toward equilibrium. Our model predicts that bigger liners are expected to be the first to move transshipment operations to a cheaper port, thereby inducing the smaller ones to follow. Though our model is only preliminary and not yet populated with actual data, it seems consistent with the observation of liner relocation at the port of Singapore, where Maersk, the biggest operating liner, was the first to move to the port of Tanjung Pelapas, followed subsequently by Evergreen, the next largest customer.


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