Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (8): 1256-1270.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201508006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution and dynamic mechanism of container port system in the Pearl River Delta

Jiajia CHENG1,2(), Chengjin WANG1()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2014-11-04 Revised:2015-02-19 Online:2015-08-20 Published:2015-08-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171108;Project of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No.2012QY004;Key Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZZD-EW-06-02


It has been acknowledged that the port system is of great significance to the regional development and even to land development. The port system has been the focus of port geography research. In fact, the evolution and dynamic mechanisms of regional container port system are promoting traditional research on port system. The authors selected 31 container ports in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) to analyze the evolution of the container port system by describing their overall development and centralized or decentralized processes during the period 1970-2013, especially focusing on the deduction of the theoretically evolving model and revealing evolving mechanisms. The result showed that the evolution of container port system in the PRD region presented both concentration and deconcentration patterns. We concluded a theoretical model of container port system which is divided into five stages according to different features and spatial patterns, including origin single-core structure, isolated dual-core structure, polarized-core hub structure, dual-core hub port structure, and multi-core co-development structure. The result also showed that port system in the PRD completed its containerization and evolution under the integrated influence of five factors, including physical conditions, industrial structure and international trade, technological progress, shipping and terminal market, and policy and institution. However, each factor has different influences on the development of container port system in different periods. This study not only enriches the theory on port system, but also provides guidance for container port construction in the PRD.

Key words: Pearl River Delta, container port system, evolving regularity, developing pattern, dynamic mechanisms