A valuation approach of port funding strategies with application to a container terminal concession in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

A valuation approach of port funding strategies with application to a container terminal concession in Sub-Saharan Africa

Darren Fraser, Thando Mpikeleli and Theo Notteboom
(2021) Maritime Business Review.

Increased economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has given rise to increased demand for port development. Given the often scarce availability of national public funding, port institutional reform programmes have been implemented to pave the way for the inclusion of external port investors. Notwithstanding this fact, some sub-Saharan African Governments remain institutionally locked into the notion that state-owned enterprises remain an appropriate vehicle for port terminal operations. This, despite the fact that terminal operational concessions globally and within the continent of Africa are increasingly being managed by global terminal operators. Given this context, this study aims to evaluate different port valuation and funding strategies. Two research questions form the core of this research: what is the financial value of a concession? What is the most cost advantageous funding strategy? The methodology is applied to the development of a two-berth container terminal in SSA.

Article
Spatial, temporal and institutional characteristics of entry strategies in inland container terminals: A comparison between Yangtze River and Rhine River
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Spatial, temporal and institutional characteristics of entry strategies in inland container terminals: A comparison between Yangtze River and Rhine River

Dong Yang, Theo Notteboom and Xin Zhou
(2021) Journal of Transport Geography.

Recent decades have brought a growing commitment of investors in the (co-)funding and management of inland terminals, particularly container terminals. However, the actors involved, the forms of third-party entry and the emerging partnerships in inland terminals have only been investigated on a fragmented basis in inland port research. To complement existing inland port research on governance, management and spatial development, this paper analyses entry strategies of actors in inland container terminals on the Rhine and Yangtze in terms of their spatial, temporal and institutional characteristics. The unit of analysis in this paper is the inland container terminal, not necessarily the entire inland port (which might have more than one terminal). The entry strategies and the drivers behind these strategies are examined using a conceptual framework focused on five questions, i.e. who, where, when, why and which way. The empirical application is based on a large dataset of all container terminals on the Rhine and Yangtze. Our findings suggest clear differences between the two rivers in terms of the type of operators, the sequence of inland port development and also the major actors shaping the inland terminal landscape. Despite these differences, there is also some level of similarity, including a low presence of international players, the absence of deepsea (landlord) port authorities and observed waves of single acquisition, multiple-site acquisition, and capital entry in the terminals. Government policies, institutional frameworks and the nature of shipping network development are determinants of inland port investment and the entry strategies adopted by relevant actors. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the drivers and contextual environment guiding entry strategies in inland ports and can help policy makers and port operators in inland rivers to assess and benchmark their strategy. The paper adds to existing literature by considering spatiotemporal aspects of terminal ownership and the strategic considerations of and institutional drivers and impediments to the inland terminal strategies of the corresponding actors.

Article
Deep sea mining and the United States: Unbound powerhouse or odd man out?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Deep sea mining and the United States: Unbound powerhouse or odd man out?

(2020) Marine Policy. 124.

Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a comprehensive international regime, consisting of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, the 1994 Implementation Agreement and detailed rules issued by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), and the exploitation phase is gradually approaching. However, the United States has not ratified the treaties, which gives rise to several issues. Indeed, depending on legal interpretation, this results in the US either being authorized to claim and exploit natural resources within the Area without prior permission of the ISA, or the US being barred from any deep sea mining activities beyond national jurisdiction. Furthermore, with regard to mineral exploitation on the continental shelf, the non-ratification of the treaties concerned also results in a number of legal questions. On the basis of a purposeful discussion of relevant international law and a thorough analysis of the US position towards the deep sea mining provisions of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, as adapted by the 1994 Implementation Agreement, as well as its current role within the context of deep sea mining, this article attempts to solve this legal conundrum. Does the US find itself in a privileged position, being able to disregard the international regime and to exploit mineral resources however and wherever they please, or should the US be regarded as the odd man out, excluded from deep sea mining activities until they ratify the relevant treaties?

Article
Maritime safety in Belgium
Author(s)
Eric Van Hooydonk
Publication

Maritime safety in Belgium

Eric Van Hooydonk
(2021) Maritime safety in Europe. A comparative approach. In Maritime and Transport Law Library Series p.65-73

The book is concerned with the harmonisation of maritime safety legal systems in Europe. It describes maritime safety legal systems in selected European countries as well as maritime safety issues from the perspective of the International Maritime Organisation, European Union, and European Free Trade Association. Distinguished scholars from Europe's leading maritime law academic centres present national perspectives of maritime safety systems, questioning whether the adopted national solutions guarantee the compatibility with IMO and EU legal regime, as well as assessing the global and EU system. Moreover, the book seeks to provide some answers as to whether the IMO goals on maritime safety are adequate in light of current safety challenges and how to achieve higher level of enforcement of internationally-recognised maritime safety standards. It will be of great assistance to those readers who need to familiarize themselves with current problems inherent in maritime safety, whether that be lawyers, scholars, professional mariners, or national institutions.

Book chapter
Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe

(2020) WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS. 19(4). p.399-426

Academic studies and policy documents have elaborated on the 0.1% sulphur cap in roro shipping and its potential impact on vessel operating costs, the competitiveness of roro shipping compared to other transport modes and the risks for triggering a 'modal back shift' from sea to road. This study revisits the paper 'The impact of low sulphur fuel requirements in shipping on the competitiveness of roro shipping in Northern Europe' published in this journal as reported by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) by applying a cost model to measure route competitiveness in north Europe in October 2018 and May 2020. We find that the use of low sulphur fuel has only a moderate impact on the cost competitiveness of shortsea routes. Only in a few cases do we see the cost balance in modal competition tilting towards the 'truck only' option. Compared to the findings by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95), the compulsory transition to low sulphur emission solutions so far had far less significant impacts on the cost competitiveness of shortsea-dependent routing options. The smaller differences in cost competitiveness compared to Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) are partly explained by smaller observed price gaps between HFO and low sulphur fuels and higher road charge costs for trucking. We further demonstrate that lower vessel utilization degrees can seriously affect the cost competitiveness of routing alternatives involving long and shorter roro sections and increase the risk of a modal back shift from sea to road. Contrary to most earlier studies, the combination of many routes and different periods of observation allows to test the robustness of the outcomes taking into account these spatial and temporal dimensions.

Article
Current legal developments New Zealand: Trans-Tasman Resources Limited v. Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board
Author(s)
Robert Makgill
Publication

Current legal developments New Zealand: Trans-Tasman Resources Limited v. Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board

Robert Makgill, James D. Gardner-Hopkins and Natalie R. Coates

(2020) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARINE AND COASTAL LAW. 35(4). p.835-845

On 3 April 2020, the Court of Appeal delivered a judgment quashing a decision to ap-prove a seabed mining proposal within New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This article discusses the judgment’s background, its references to the law of the sea and other international law, and the Court of Appeal’s four key findings. These findings include that the seabed mining approval: (a) failed to ensure protection of the marine environment from pollution; (b) failed to favour caution and protection where infor-mation is uncertain or inadequate; (c) failed to integrate decision-making between the EEZ and territorial sea; and (d) failed to adopt an approach to effects consistent with indigenous rights. The article concludes with some observations on the judgment’s relevance to State practice and seabed mining under international law.

Article
Forum shopping within the context of deep sea mining: towards sponsoring states of convenience?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Forum shopping within the context of deep sea mining: towards sponsoring states of convenience?

(2020) Revue Belge de Droit International. 2019/1-2. p.116-138

Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a complex international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be exploited. However, it must be noted that companies wishing to pursue activities in the Area must be sponsored by a state, so national legislation defining the conditions to obtain a certificate of sponsorship also plays an important role. As will be demonstrated in this article, the content of these national laws is very diverse though, which can create possible mismatches and may induce deep sea mining enterprises to change their sponsoring state. Therefore, the phenomenon of flags of convenience in shipping does not seem far off: depending on the content of the national legislation on deep sea mining and how strictly it is enforced, juridical persons could strategically choose to register their company in a certain state and apply for sponsorship there. In this article, a theoretical analysis of this hypothesis is followed by a comparative evaluation of the national legislation on deep sea mining of two carefully selected states (Belgium and the Cook Islands), in order to determine whether forum shopping within the context of deep sea mining is legally possible and whether widespread differences between national laws can urge deep sea mining companies to go down that road. Furthermore, the consequences of such developments are pondered and possible solutions are suggested.

Article
Revisiting port system delineation through an analysis of maritime interdependencies among seaports
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Revisiting port system delineation through an analysis of maritime interdependencies among seaports

César Ducruet and Theo Notteboom
(2021) GEOJOURNAL.

A port system is a system of two or more ports, located in proximity within a given area. In literature, various geographical and functional scales have been identified ranging from complete coastlines to the notions of a ‘range’ and a ‘multi-port gateway region’. Not only does the spatial scale create confusion on the true functional delineation of port systems, but it also complicates a clear understanding of the relational mechanisms at stake within these port systems. This paper revisits existing approaches to and empirical delineations of port systems. Maritime network analysis techniques are deployed to understand hierarchies and interdependencies among nodes of container port systems and sub-systems in North Europe and Northeast Asia. The results provide additional insights on how ports interact from a maritime services’ perspectives and demonstrate whether or not ports which are traditionally considered as belonging to the same port system can in reality be considered forming a fully integrated port system.

Article
Beyond semantics: Overcoming the normative incoherence surrounding the protection of international watercourse ecosystems
Author(s)
Yang Liu
Publication

Beyond semantics: Overcoming the normative incoherence surrounding the protection of international watercourse ecosystems

(2020) REVIEW OF EUROPEAN COMPARATIVE & INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW.

Protecting and preserving the ecosystems of international watercourses requires a coherent normative framework. Problems can arise where inconsistent terms are used to define and describe these shared resources. This leads to possible normative incoherence around the duties to protect and preserve ecosystems. At the heart of the matter are the diverse definitions used for shared freshwaters and international ecosystems. In many cases, there is a ‘terrestrial gap’—the geographical space created by the terms used to describe ‘international watercourse’ on the one hand, and ‘ecosystem’ on the other. More often than not, the former is defined in narrow geographical terms, while the latter is more broadly cast, to include related terrestrial elements. This article explores how the potential normative incoherence related to the protection and preservation of the ecosystems of an international watercourse might be overcome through three approaches, which are explored in treaty practice across the field.

Article
Deep sea mining in the Area: clouded in plumes of uncertainty
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Deep sea mining in the Area: clouded in plumes of uncertainty

(2020) THE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MARITIME LAW. 26(4). p.291-296

After decades of intense research and significant investments, the deep sea mining industry is gradually preparing to enter the exploitation phase. Nevertheless, a great deal of uncertainty remains and deep sea mining once again finds itself at a crossroads: on the one hand there are contractors who are prepared to invoke a treaty provision to avoid any further delay, while environmental NGOs on the other hand are advocating a moratorium. Against the background of a global pandemic, this article offers a substantiated assessment of these conflicting developments and an analysis of their compatibility with the international legal framework.

Article
Revisiting traffic forecasting by port authorities in the context of port planning and development
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Revisiting traffic forecasting by port authorities in the context of port planning and development

Francesco Parola, Giovanni Satta, Theo Notteboom and Luca Persico
(2020) MARITIME ECONOMICS & LOGISTICS.

This paper contributes to the extant debate on port planning and development by analysing current approaches and challenges for academics and port authorities with respect to traffic forecasting. First, we examine how academics approach traffic forecasting in ports based on an extensive literature review. Next, using a sample of 28 core ports in the European Union, we provide empirical evidence on traffic forecasting challenges for, and approaches by, port authorities. Our findings are discussed by focussing on five themes, i.e. formalized planning versus ad hoc investment decisions, the types and time horizons of port planning documents, forecasting methods and data sources, attitudes towards the disclosure of traffic forecasts and methods, and institutional issues affecting traffic forecasting exercises.

Article
On the legitimacy of national interests of sponsoring states: a deep sea mining conundrum
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

On the legitimacy of national interests of sponsoring states: a deep sea mining conundrum

(2020) International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. 35.

Beyond national jurisdiction, the deep seabed and its mineral resources are designated as ‘common heritage of mankind’. Nevertheless, the governing legal framework does not only consist of international instruments, as domestic legislation issued by sponsoring states also plays a decisive role. The legitimacy of certain national provisions can be questioned though, taking into account the duty to carry out activities in the Area for the benefit of mankind as a whole. For instance, can a sponsoring state demand that the proposed mining activities are in the public interest of the state? Are they allowed to generate revenue by introducing a recovery fee or other taxes? And should developing states enjoy more leeway, given the particular consideration for their interests and needs in the Law of the Sea Convention? This article analyses to what extent creeping national interests in domestic legislation on deep sea mining are in accordance with international law.

Article
Brand strategies of container shipping lines following mergers and acquisitions: carriers’ visual identity options
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Brand strategies of container shipping lines following mergers and acquisitions: carriers’ visual identity options

Theo Notteboom, Giovanni Satta and Francesco Parola
(2020) MARITIME ECONOMICS & LOGISTICS.

Brand strategy is a fundamental part of corporate strategy and constitutes a key condition for companies operating in international B2B contexts, enabling them to manage relations with customers, stakeholders and shareholders effectively. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are drivers of change in both brand architecture and brand portfolio strategies pursued by B2B companies. This paper aims to investigate brand architecture and brand portfolio management strategies in the B2B domain by focusing on the branding decisions of container shipping lines in the context of M&As. A taxonomy of branding options available to B2B companies is presented and empirically applied to the container shipping industry, which has undergone several waves of M&A activities in recent decades. The brand strategies of some of the most M&A active players in the industry (i.e. Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM) are examined, with a particular focus on corporate visual identity (i.e. the name and visual devices such as logo, typeface and colour) adopted after an M&A transaction. Our empirical dataset on M&As in container shipping includes the names of the acquirer and acquired company or merging entities, the geographical scale of the shipping networks of the acquirer and acquired, the type of transaction, the year of the the M&A's formal completion, the adopted corporate visual identity after the M&A and the financials of the M&A transaction. Moreover, we propose a conceptualisation of the factors, drivers and impediments that shape ocean carriers' attitude towards the different branding options and strategies. The results demonstrate two dominant strategies, for example the new entity adopts the visual identity and name of the acquirer ('backing the stronger horse'), or the lead and target brands continue to exist independently after the M&A activity ('business as usual', often as part of a broader multi-brand strategy). These two strategies and the hybrid option of combining them represent 78% of the M&A cases. The remaining M&A cases strongly relied on hybrid strategies involving a change in the adopted strategy many months, or even years after the M&A. We show that the decisions of shipping lines regarding branding in an M&A context are influenced by a complex set of interacting drivers and factors which can differ from one case to another and can change over time. This paper contributes to extant literature by demonstrating a more comprehensive typology of possible brand strategies by providing an empirical analysis in a B2B environment and by presenting a novel conceptualisation of the factors affecting brand strategy in an M&A context.

Article
The Development of the Container Port System in Southern Africa
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

The Development of the Container Port System in Southern Africa

Theo Notteboom and Darren Fraser
(2020) African Seaports and Maritime Economics in Historical Perspective. In Palgrave Studies in Maritime Economics p.171-201

The Southern African container port system features a diverse range of different port types and sizes from five African countries. The region has seen strong port development in the past decades with new ports entering the market and existing ports expanding their supply. Competitive dynamics in the Southern African container port system are however not well researched. This chapter provides an assessment of the development paths of the ports and related multi-port gateway regions in the Southern African container port system. The drivers behind these development dynamics are further examined by elaborating on inter-port competition for hinterland cargo and transhipment flows, terminal capacity investments and the evolving governance/regulatory frameworks.

Book chapter
Public participation in the context of deep sea mining: luxury or legal obligation?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Public participation in the context of deep sea mining: luxury or legal obligation?

(2020) Ocean and Coastal Management. 198.

Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the ocean floor and its minerals are governed by a comprehensive international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be prospected, explored and exploited. The main principles are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Implementation Agreement, while more detailed rules are included in specific regulations of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The ISA has issued rules for the first phases of deep sea mining activities (prospecting and exploration), but has yet to adopt exploitation regulations. A draft version is however being developed and provides a good indication of the current state of play. With regard to transparency and public participation, significant improvements can be identified, but considering the influence of NGOs and their crucial role as watchdogs, the power of third-party stakeholders can still be deemed fairly limited. This article analyzes the existing principles and available options regarding transparency, public participation and access to justice in all phases of deep sea mining activities, identifies the main weaknesses and suggests possible corrections, all the while assessing whether such provisions should be considered a luxury or rather the implementation of an enforceable legal obligation.

Article
Het Belgisch Scheepvaartwetboek en het nieuwe privaatrechtelijke zeerecht
Author(s)
Eric Van Hooydonk
Publication

Het Belgisch Scheepvaartwetboek en het nieuwe privaatrechtelijke zeerecht

(2020) Tijdschrift voor Internationale Handel en Transportrecht. p.248-292

Deze bijdrage bevat in een eerste deel een algemene inleiding tot het Belgisch Scheepvaartwetboek, met aandacht voor de doelstellingen, de wordingsgeschie-denis, de wetgevingstechnische basiskeuzes, de structuur en de niet in het wetboekopgenomen regelingen. Het tweede deel biedt een overzicht van de belangrijkstenieuwe bepalingen betreffende het privaatrechtelijke zeerecht. Daarbij wordenachtereenvolgens behandeld: de begripsbepalingen, het toepassingsgebied vanhet boek “Zeevaart”, de openbaarheid van rechten op zeeschepen, het zaakstatuutvan het schip, de scheepszekerheidsrechten, het scheepsbeslag, de overheidssche-pen, de scheepsmede-eigendom, de aansprakelijkheid van de scheepeigenaar enbeperking ervan, de betekening aan de scheepsagent, het statuut van de opvaren-den en de gezagvoerders, de bevrachting, het goederenvervoer over zee, het pas-sagiersvervoer over zee, de averij, de aanvaring, de milieuschade, de berging, dewrakverwijdering, het gerechtelijk privaatrecht en het taalgebruik in gerechtsza-ken.

Article
Het nieuw Belgisch marien ruimtelijk plan voor de periode 2020-2026
Author(s)
Frank Maes
Publication

Het nieuw Belgisch marien ruimtelijk plan voor de periode 2020-2026

(2020) Tijdschrift voor Milieurecht.

Het Belgisch marien ruimtelijk plan (MRP) 2020-2026 is reeds het derde plan, na een gefragmenteerd Masterplan, gevolgd door een geïntegreerd MRP 2014-2020. Opnieuw is het MRP 2020-2026 erin geslaagd de schaarse beschikbare ruimte te verdelen op basis van belangrijke beleidsprioriteiten die gevat kunnen worden in enkele kernbegrippen: inzetten op natuurbehoud en herstel, de blauwe economie groeikansen bieden met focus op hernieuwbare energie, het stimuleren van offshore aquacultuur en inzetten op multifunctioneel gebruik van activiteiten binnen dezelfde zones. Nieuw is ook dat parallel aan de MRP-procedure, een proces is opgestart onder de Noordzeevisie 2050 waarbij met stakeholders van gedachten is gewisseld, zonder rekening te hoeven houden met de formele aspecten van de aanvaarding van een MRP. De participatie van de stakeholders en de publieksraadpleging is immens belangrijk willen we op een maatschappelijk verantwoorde wijze omgaan met de toekomstige ruimtelijke uitdagingen op zee. Het MRP 2020-2026 is hierin alvast geslaagd. Het meest in het oog springend is de nieuwe concessiezone voor hernieuwbare energie op de Vlaamse Banken en het daarbij inzetten op multifunctioneel gebruik. De grootste uitdaging was het temperen van de ambitieuze plannen van de Vlaamse overheid die al meer dan 10 jaar ijvert voor de bouw van een eiland (initieel een reeks van eilanden) als “zeewering”, waarvoor het bewijs nog niet is geleverd en de noodzakelijke zandvoorraad schaars is. Een andere uitdaging is het verzoenen van de zeevisserij met bepaalde doelstellingen tot natuurbehoud en natuurherstel. Voor het MRP 2020-2026 is dit een moeilijke evenwichtsoefening, temeer omdat dit ook op EU-niveau voor spanningen zorgt. Opnieuw zal de visserijsector, en in het bijzonder de boomkorvisserij, aan ruimte moeten inbinden. Dit en de onzekerheid over de gevolgen van de Brexit zijn een immense uitdaging voor de sector, maar anderzijds ook een opportuniteit door in te zetten op andere vormen van visserij, zoals aquacultuur. Als een deel van de sector deze omslag wil maken, zal dat zonder wetenschappelijke en financiële steun niet mogelijk zijn. Een ruimtelijke aanzet wordt gegeven in het MRP 2020-2026, maar is weliswaar beperkt.

Article
Een race naar de diepzeebodem zonder pottenkijkers?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Hendrik Schoukens
Publication

Een race naar de diepzeebodem zonder pottenkijkers?

Klaas Willaert and Hendrik Schoukens
(2020) Knack.

Het debat over diepzeemijnbouw sloop in volle COVID-tijden geruisloos het Belgische parlement binnen. And it is here to stay. Want diepzeemijnbouw vormt volgens de believers dè sleutel tot een circulaire, CO2-neutrale economie. Critici spreken van een aanslag op de kwetsbare onderwaternatuur. Op dit moment is echter vooral sprake van een ‘race to the bottom’ zonder al te veel pottenkijkers, schrijven Klaas Willaert en Hendrik Schoukens. En daar kan de Belgische staat, die een onverwachte hoofdrol speelt in dit verhaal, wat aan doen.

Article
China’s investment in African ports: spatial distribution, entry modes and investor profile
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

China’s investment in African ports: spatial distribution, entry modes and investor profile

Zhongzhen Yang, Yunzhu He, Hao Zhu and Theo Notteboom
(2020) RESEARCH IN TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT. 37.

Over the past decades, China's direct investment in Africa expanded significantly and became more diversified. The increased involvement of Chinese interests in Africa has intensified the debate on the benefits, modes and risks linked to these investments. Chinese state-owned companies have directed large amounts of expertise and resources to African ports, not only to deliver benefits to the investing parties, but also to contribute to a more effective and efficient African port industry. This paper presents an analysis of Chinese investments in and operation of African port infrastructure. Next to offering a comprehensive view on the spatial distribution of Chinese investments in African ports, this study elaborates on the specialization of major Chinese state-owned companies in terms of investment modes, and on the reasons behind the observed/expected geographical distribution of specific entry modes across Africa. The EPC + F + I mode (Engineering Procurement Construction + Finance + Investment) is the most common arrangement adopted by Chinese enterprises in view of port investment in Africa while also PPP type of arrangements are frequently used. China's enterprises are challenged to choose suitable modes when investing in African ports by taking into account their own attributes, the development status of the host countries and the port characteristics.

Article
Port management and governance in a post-COVID-19 era: quo vadis?
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Port management and governance in a post-COVID-19 era: quo vadis?

Theo Notteboom and Hercules E. Haralambides
(2020) MARITIME ECONOMICS & LOGISTICS. 22(3). p.329-352

 A critical assessment of some of the key issues and themes in port governance research, attempting at the same time to propose new avenues for further port research in a post-COVID-19 era. We summarise the main developments by identifying trends and exploring research challenges, gaps and points of (re)orientation. Instead of providing answers, we provide inputs to ongoing discussions by sketching emerging and eminent issues in the hope that this will provide some guidance for further port studies in the field.

Article
Crafting the perfect deep sea mining legislation: a patchwork of national laws
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Crafting the perfect deep sea mining legislation: a patchwork of national laws

(2020) Marine Policy. 119.

Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a complex international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be exploited. However, companies and natural persons wishing to pursue activities in the Area must be sponsored by a state, so national legislation defining the conditions to obtain a certificate of sponsorship also plays an important role. These national laws are very diverse and contain a wide array of provisions, leading to several advantages as well as drawbacks. This article analyzes the crucial building blocks of national deep sea mining legislation and assesses which provisions can serve as an example. Comparisons are made between the relevant laws of carefully selected sponsoring states and this leads us to a patchwork of recommended provisions, which is presented as a first step towards ideal national legislation on deep sea mining.

Article
Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC

(2020) The Journal of International Maritime Law. 26(1). p.60-73

Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a comprehensive international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be exploited. Although the fundamental principles of the deep seabed regime are set out in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) also plays a vital role by defining the applicable rules and evaluating incoming applications. In both of these areas, the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) performs key tasks and guides the law- and decision-making process as an organ of the Council. However, the role, composition and functioning of the LTC has not been spared from criticism. Although the Legal and Technical Commission inherently is an independent organ, consisting of neutral experts who provide legal and scientific advice to prepare and support the decisions and activities of the Council, it has been increasingly politicized over the years. Disproportionate representation of regional groups, shortage of essential expertise and lack of transparency can be considered the main issues and there is a pressing need for a solution. This article offers a critical analysis of these matters and suggests suitable corrections, in order to find a sensible compromise that all parties can agree upon.

Article
From Monodisciplinary via Multidisciplinary to an Interdisciplinary Approach Investigating Air-Sea Interactions – a SOLAS Initiative
Author(s)
Frank Maes
Publication

From Monodisciplinary via Multidisciplinary to an Interdisciplinary Approach Investigating Air-Sea Interactions – a SOLAS Initiative

Christa Marandino, Erik van Doorn, Natasha McDonald, Martin Johnson, Bülent Açma, Emilie Breviere, Hanna Campen, Silvina Carou, Emilio Cocco, Sonja Endres, Nathalie Hilmi, Frances Hopkins, Peter Liss, Frank Maes, Monica Mårtensson, Johannes Oeffner, Mary Oloyede, Andrew Peters, Birgit Quack, Pradeep Singh, Helmuth Thomas
(2020) COASTAL MANAGEMENT. 48(4). p.238-256

Understanding the physical and biogeochemical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere is a vital component of environmental and Earth system research. The ability to predict and respond to future environmental change relies on a detailed understanding of these processes. The Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) is an international research platform that focuses on the study of ocean-atmosphere interactions, for which Future Earth is a sponsor. SOLAS instigated a collaborative initiative process to connect efforts in the natural and social sciences related to these processes, as a contribution to the emerging Future Earth Ocean Knowledge-Action Network (Ocean KAN). This is imperative because many of the recent changes in the Earth system are anthropogenic. An understanding of adaptation and counteracting measures requires an alliance of scientists from both domains to bridge the gap between science and policy. To this end, three SOLAS research areas were targeted for a case study to determine a more effective method of interdisciplinary research: valuing carbon and the ocean’s role; air-sea interactions, policy and stewardship; and, air-sea interactions and the shipping industry.

Article
European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in European waters - Current state
Author(s)
Frank Maes
Publication

European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in European waters - Current state

Charles Galdies, Richard Bellerby, Donata Canu, Wenting Chen, Enrique Garcia-Luque, Blaženka Gašparović, Jelena Godrijan, Paul J. Lawlor, Frank Maes, Alenka Malej, et al.
(2020) Marine Policy. 118.

Ocean acidification (OA) is a global problem with profoundly negative environmental, social and economic consequences. From a governance perspective, there is a need to ensure a coordinated effort to directly address it. This study reviews 90 legislative documents from 17 countries from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK that primarily border the sea. The primary finding from this study is that the European national policies and legislation addressing OA is at best uncoordinated. Although OA is acknowledged at the higher levels of governance, its status as an environmental challenge is greatly diluted at the European Union Member State level. As a notable exception within the EEA, Norway seems to have a proactive approach towards legislative frameworks and research aimed towards further understanding OA. On the other hand, there was a complete lack of, or inadequate reporting in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by the majority of the EU Member States, with the exception of Italy and the Netherlands. We argue that the problems associated with OA and the solutions needed to address it are unique and cannot be bundled together with traditional climate change responses and measures. Therefore, European OA-related policy and legislation must reflect this and tailor their actions to mitigate OA to safeguard marine ecosystems and societies. A stronger and more coordinated approach is needed to build environmental, economic and social resilience of the observed and anticipated changes to the coastal marine systems.

Article
Effective protection of the marine environment and equitable benefit-sharing in the Area: empty promises or feasible goals?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Effective protection of the marine environment and equitable benefit-sharing in the Area: empty promises or feasible goals?

(2020) Ocean Development and International Law. 51(2). p.175-192

The international legal framework with regard to ‘the Area’, comprising the deep seabed and the subsoil beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, has been modified significantly through the years: it was first established by part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but the 1994 Implementation Agreement introduced several changes. These general rules and principles are further developed in the ‘Mining Code’, referring to the comprehensive set of regulations and procedures issued by the International Seabed Authority. The Authority has already produced rules for the first phases of mining activities (prospecting and exploration) in the Area, but has yet to adopt exploitation regulations. Nevertheless, the most recent draft of the exploitation regulations provides a good indication of the current state of play. The aim of this article is to analyze the current draft of the exploitation regulations, which will shape the future deep seabed mining regime, in order to evaluate whether the relevant provisions are sufficient and effective to attain two prominent goals with regard to the Area: the protection of the marine environment and the equitable sharing of financial and economic benefits. The Law of the Sea Convention indeed states that the resources of the deep seabed are considered common heritage of mankind and prioritizes these objectives. Therefore, the exploitation regulations should strike an appropriate balance between commercial exploitation, environmental protection and the interests of developing countries. The strengths and weaknesses of this document and the overarching international legal framework are identified and possible corrections are suggested.

Article
Can the Law Contribute to Combating Illicit Narcotic Drug Trafficking by Sea? The U.S. Legal Framework and the Extra-Territorial Enforcement Jurisdiction of Coastal States
Author(s)
Ilja Van Hespen
Publication

Can the Law Contribute to Combating Illicit Narcotic Drug Trafficking by Sea? The U.S. Legal Framework and the Extra-Territorial Enforcement Jurisdiction of Coastal States

(2020) Journal for International Trade and Transport Law - Tijdschrift voor Internationale Handel en Transportrecht - Revue de Droit du Commerce International et des Transports. 20(1). p.3-66

This article deals with legal issues related to the fight against drug trafficking by sea, as performed by the Governments of the United States and the western and southern European coastal States. The article specifically addresses how countries try to exercise jurisdiction outside their territory and how national courts deal with the phenomenon of drug trafficking by sea, particularly about cocaine. The author discusses jurisdictional and other problems associated with the extraterritorial exercising of enforcement jurisdiction over stateless vessels and vessels flying a foreign flag in the exercise of free navigation by coastal States on the high seas or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of another State. The author also considers the many challenges associated with the prosecution of alleged criminals, such as due process or ensuring the right to a fair trial and respect for human rights. This study includes legal texts from forty countries, all related to the fight against illegal drug trafficking and other crimes in the maritime domain. Also, this author has analyzed more than fifty judgments in cases where a coastal State has caught alleged drug traffickers outside the territorial waters (decided by competent courts in the United States, Jamaica, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, with convictions from 1995 until 2017). The study shows that the illegal trading of large amounts of cocaine by sea complies with all conditions as set under customary international law to be considered an international crime. Moreover, it is argued that every coastal State may exercise jurisdiction over such an offence without having to prove a nexus with the coastal State that is concerned, provided that it is a ‘stateless’ ship or that the relevant flag State explicitly consents to the coastal State applying its laws, and so waives its preferential jurisdiction.

Article
De financiën van de diepzeebodem: conform de kwalificatie als gemeenschappelijk erfgoed van de mensheid?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

De financiën van de diepzeebodem: conform de kwalificatie als gemeenschappelijk erfgoed van de mensheid?

(2020) Milieu- en Energierecht. p.19-26

Samen met de toenemende vraag naar kostbare metalen, stijgen ook de belangen van staten en ondernemingen in de diepzeebodem. Deze zone vormt evenwel het voorwerp van een complex internationaalrechtelijk regime en wordt samen met de aanwezige grondstoffen gekwalificeerd als gemeenschappelijk erfgoed van de mensheid. Dit betekent onder meer dat de diepzeebodem en zijn natuurlijke rijkdommen niet zomaar kunnen worden toegeëigend, maar impliceert ook een billijke verdeling van de opbrengsten die eruit voortvloeien. Hoewel de exploitatiefase stilaan dichterbij komt, werd er echter nog geen financieel systeem vastgelegd om deze doelstelling te realiseren: het Internationaal Zeerechtverdrag en de navolgende Implementatieovereenkomst bevatten weliswaar de basisvoorwaarden, maar de precieze uitwerking wordt overgelaten aan de Internationale Zeebodemautoriteit. Binnen de context van de ontwikkeling van exploitatieregels wordt druk gewerkt aan een gepast financieel regime, maar een algemeen aanvaarde oplossing is voorlopig nog niet in zicht. In dit artikel worden de voornaamste vereisten en de huidige ontwikkelingen toegelicht, teneinde na te kunnen gaan of de beoogde opties en modellen in overeenstemming zijn met het statuut van de diepzeebodem en zijn natuurlijke rijkdommen als gemeenschappelijk erfgoed van de mensheid.

Article
The financial aspects of deep sea mining: common heritage of mankind or first-come-first-served?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

The financial aspects of deep sea mining: common heritage of mankind or first-come-first-served?

(2020) The Journal of International Maritime Law. p.387-395

Along with the growing demand for precious metals, the interests of states and commercial entities in the deep seabed have increased. This particular area, however, is subject to a complex international regime and received, together with the mineral resources which are located there, the status of common heritage of mankind. This means, among others, that the deep seabed and its natural resources cannot be appropriated or exploited at one’s own discretion, and it furthermore implies the equitable sharing of the financial and economic benefits which are derived from it. Although the exploitation phase is drawing near, a financial system to achieve this objective has however not been created. While it is true that the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement contain the main principles, a specific regime has to be decided upon by the International Seabed Authority. A suitable financial model is sought within the context of the development of the exploitation regulations, but a final consensus on this matter is not yet in sight. This article will explain the most important conditions and current developments, in order to examine whether or not the proposed options are in line with the status of the deep seabed and its natural resources as common heritage of mankind.

Article
Unification and codification of maritime law: friends or foes?
Author(s)
Eric Van Hooydonk
Publication

Unification and codification of maritime law: friends or foes?

(2020) Codification of maritime law : challenges, possibilities and experience. p.10-16

This paper discusses the achievements and pitfalls of unification and codification of maritime law and their interaction. Today the unification of maritime law, which was launched as a business-orientated but also quite idealistic Belle Epoque project, has become difficult. Not only does unification suffer from inherent procedural complications, but unity is under a serious additional threat from the unguided missile of national re-codification projects, which often seem to lack an internationalist perspective. Against this background, four targeted policy measures are suggested: (1) restore the idealism of unification through awareness-building among proponents of national legislative projects; (2) revive comparative law research to support drafters; (3) issue CMI Guidance on national codifications; and (4) continued compilation of the Lex Maritima, which is still an ongoing project.

Book chapter
Container barge network development in inland rivers: A comparison between the Yangtze River and the Rhine River
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

Container barge network development in inland rivers: A comparison between the Yangtze River and the Rhine River

Theo Notteboom, Dong Yang and Hua Xu
(2020) TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART A-POLICY AND PRACTICE. 132. p.587-605

The formation of barge networks on rivers and associated inland port systems is subject to a complex set of influencing factors and mechanisms. This paper aims to present a comprehensive comparative empirical analysis focusing on the container shipping (barge) network in the Yangtze and the Rhine. This analysis is supported by extensive datasets on both river basins, incorporates the latest development on both rivers and is grounded on concepts and methods coming from transport geography and economic geography. We find that a large diversity might exist in how inland port systems and related gateway seaports are dealing with cargo flows and supply chains. In view of explaining this diversity, we make a distinction between geographical/nautical aspects, macro-economic factors and institutional/governance factors. In particular, we discuss the role of institutional and governance factors in barge network development by using the concepts of selection, retention and variation.

Article
The role of seaports in green supply chain management : initiatives, attitudes, and perspectives in Rotterdam, Antwerp, North Sea Port, and Zeebrugge
Author(s)
Theo Notteboom
Publication

The role of seaports in green supply chain management : initiatives, attitudes, and perspectives in Rotterdam, Antwerp, North Sea Port, and Zeebrugge

Theo Notteboom, Larissa van der Lugt, Niels van Saase, Steve Sel and Kris Neyens
(2020) SUSTAINABILITY. 12(4).

Green supply chain management (GSCM) can be defined as the integration of environmental concerns into the inter-organizational practices of supply chain management (SCM). This paper analyzes the role of seaports in the greening of supply chains in two ways. First, the fields of action to pursue GSCM objectives in ports are identified and grouped. The proposed typology includes five groups of actions, i.e., green shipping; green port development and operations; green inland logistics; seaports and the circular economy; and, actions in the field of knowledge development and information sharing. In the empirical part of the paper, this typology is used to analyze green actions and initiatives developed by market players and port authorities in the Rhine-Scheldt Delta, the leading European port region in cargo throughput terms. This structured overview of green actions and initiatives shows that these ports are hotbeds for GSCM initiatives, but progress in some areas remains slows. The second part of the analysis focuses on the attitudes and perceptions of port-related actors towards the greening of port-related supply chains. A large-scale survey conducted in the Belgian and Dutch logistics and port industry reveals that greening has been put massively on the agenda by the firms between 2010 and now. The results give a clear view on the diverse drivers and impediments towards the greening of supply chains. In addition, one can still see a gap between words and actions. The survey further points to the role of governments as catalysts or soft enforcers for change, and calls for continuity and coherence in government policy. This paper is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis on initiatives, approaches, and perspectives of port-related actors in a specific multi-port region.

Article
Halen we onze metalen binnenkort uit de oceaan, koste wat het kost?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Publication

Halen we onze metalen binnenkort uit de oceaan, koste wat het kost?

(2020) Knack

'Diepzeemijnbouw klinkt in de oren van velen nog als een futuristische fantasie, maar de controversiële niche-industrie nadert binnenkort weer een mijlpaal', schrijft onderzoeker Klaas Willaert. Hij plaatst de huidige ontwikkelingen in de diepzeemijnbouw in perspectief.

Article
•	Procedurele milieurechten en diepzeemijnbouw: terra incognita?
Author(s)
Klaas Willaert
Hendrik Schoukens
Publication

Procedurele milieurechten en diepzeemijnbouw: terra incognita?

(2020) NJW (MECHELEN). p.2-18

Voorbij de grenzen van de nationale jurisdictie worden de diepzeebodem en de aanwezige grondstoffen beheerst door een complex regime, dat bepaalt wie deze natuurlijke rijkdommen kan exploiteren en op welke manier. De algemene principes werden vastgelegd in het Internationaal Zeerechtverdrag van 1982 en de navolgende Implementatieovereenkomst van 1994, maar worden verder uitgewerkt door regels en procedures uitgevaardigd door de Internationale Zeebodemautoriteit. In de nieuwste ontwerpregels inzake exploitatie kunnen duidelijke verbeteringen worden waargenomen, maar de slagkracht van derde-belanghebbenden blijft uiteindelijk beperkt. Ook op nationaal vlak, in de wetgeving van de sponsorstaten, zijn er onvoldoende garanties aanwezig. Gelet op de huidige ontwikkelingen in het internationaal recht, de duidelijke plichten inzake milieubescherming en de status van de diepzeebodem en zijn natuurlijke rijkdommen als “gemeenschappelijk erfgoed van de mensheid”, lijkt het er echter steeds meer op dat het voorzien van effectieve transparantie, publieke participatie en toegang tot de rechter niet enkel een aanbeveling is, maar een juridische verplichting.

Article