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The role and purpose of a port in the context of a changing economic environment.

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The impact of economic globalisation and the ensuing growth of world trade is presently the most important factor reshaping transport networks and port systems. As globalisation further develops, world trade and in particular sea borne trade will continue to grow. To cope with such an ever-growing world trade, ports will play a critical and indispensable role. Expanding trade volumes and shifting markets continue to challenge all elements of the logistics chain necessary for a seamless flow of goods from producer to consumer and pose particular challenges to seaports. The role of the transport sector in any modem economy is to generate a broad infrastructure and set of associated services that integrates diverse social and economic actors within and beyond the nation. Globalisation encompasses four particular phenomena, among others, that are especially relevant to South Africa's transport sector, given the role of transport as the key facilitator of international trade: • Falling tariff barriers to international trade. • Diminishing non-tariff barriers to trade. • Reintegration into the global economy. • Changes in the South African economy. These factors create very new and challenging circumstances for the transport sector and in particular the port systems. The functions of ports has evolved over the past few decades to be regarded as logistical platforms, by taking on the additional roles of facilitating value adding activities and the ranshipment of goods. Ports have thus become less of a compulsory point of change over from maritime transport to some other mode of transport and a strategic point in the organisation of foreign trade, a principle link in the integrated transport and economic chain. Essentially the theme underlying this study is a focus on the importance of ports as energisers of the economy and facilitating trade. The objective being to identify the different roles of ports and their structures in a changing world economy.


Thesis (MBA)-University of Natal, Durban, 2003.


Theses--Business administration., Harbours., Harbours--Finance., Harbours--Law and legislation., International trade., Harbours--Port charges.