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2020/2021  BA-BISHO8002U  Port economics

English Title
Port economics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Fourth Quarter, Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc in International Shipping and Trade
Course coordinator
  • Peter De Langen - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 22-01-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course students should be able to:
  • • Discuss the port as a ‘business ecosystem’ or ‘cluster’ of interrelated companies
  • • Discuss the most appropriate port governance model for specific ports and the required regulatory framework
  • • Identify trends and developments that affect the development of the port (business ecosystem) and their impact
  • • Identify roles and business models for port development companies and propose solutions for the challenges that such companies experience
Port economics:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 72 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course introduces students to the development, management and policies regarding ports. The overall aim of the course is to give students knowledge about port development and it’s challenges in improving sustainability -broadly conceived, so including the economic, social and environmental dimension- and better facilitating trade.
The course focuses on recent developments and future challenges in the ports industry and discusses a large number of cases -both success and failure- in Port Development, Management and Policy. The course enables students to identify and critically assess core challenges in developing ports.
The following key topics are discussed:

  1. Understanding freight flows and international supply chains
  2. Understanding companies in ports
  3. Port as clusters / business ecosystems
  4. Drivers of change in the port industry
  5. Getting port governance right
  6. The business model of the port development company
  7. Performance measurement of ports
  8. Cooperation and competition between ports
  9. Business development in ports
  10. Port development under uncertainty
Description of the teaching methods
Lectures as well as group discussions in class. During the course groups of students (two to four persons) will work on short exercises related to the course topics, present findings in class and submit a short essay about 2 or 3 of these exercises. If available, a guest lecture will present industry insights in the topics provided above.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given for the group work on the exercises in two ways:
• Immediate oral feedback in class with regard to the presentations
• Written feedback on the submitted essays.
Student workload
lectures 42 hours
preparation 164 hours
exam 72 hours
Expected literature


de Langen, P. W. (2020). Towards a Better Port Industry: Port Development, Management and Policy. Routledge.

de Langen, P. W., Sornn-Friese, H., & Hallworth, J. (2020). The Role of Port Development Companies in Transitioning the Port Business Ecosystem; The Case of Port of Amsterdam’s Circular Activities. Sustainability, 12(11), 4397.

de Langen, P. W., & van der Lugt, L. M. (2017). The Role of Public Shareholders in Government Owned Port Development Companies: Insights from the Dutch Case. International Journal of Transport Economics, 44(4), 589-609.

Last updated on 22-01-2021