Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (4): 913-929.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202304009

• Transportation and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial pattern and influencing factors of shipping service industry

WANG Liehui1,2,3,4(), CHEN Ping1, ZHANG Nanyi1   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University; Shanghai 200062, China
    2. Research Center for China Administrative Division, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University,Shanghai 200062, China
    4. Institute of Eco-Chongming, Shanghai 202162, China
  • Received:2021-12-26 Revised:2023-02-14 Online:2023-04-25 Published:2023-06-25
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Social Science Fund of China(20&ZD070);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971155);Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou)(GML2019ZD0601);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(2022QKT002)


The shipping service industry is a major driving force in the economic growth and reorganization of port cities' spatial structure, as well as a core element in raising hub port cities' competitiveness. Recently, the global distribution and network connections of the shipping service industry have attracted significant attention, but few studies have analyzed the distribution differences and influencing factors of different shipping service industries. In this study, we divided the shipping service industry into upstream shipping auxiliary industries (ship owners, ship management, ship repair and construction) and downstream shipping derivative service industries (shipping finance, shipping insurance, maritime law). And based on Lloyd's Maritime Directory in 2019, we built a database about the world's shipping service industry. The spatial connection network of the global shipping service industry was then examined at the global, regional and city levels, using the correlation network model and the negative binomial regression model, which revealed the differences in distribution between the upstream and downstream shipping services. The affecting elements on upstream and downstream shipping services are explored in the last section. The results are as follows: (1) Europe and Asia are the primary distribution region of the upstream and downstream shipping service industries, a pyramid structure is shown under the variation in countries' distribution. The spatial distribution of the upstream industry is wider in range, closer in connections and stronger in agglomeration, compared to the downstream industry. (2) The global shipping service network presents a dual-center structure. Europe centers on London and builds a trans-continental radiation network of downstream shipping derivative services connecting to neighboring capital cities. Asia forms an upstream service network that connects Hong Kong, Shanghai and other cities with Singapore as the center. (3) The upstream shipping auxiliary industry is mainly distributed in non-capital seaport cities, while the downstream shipping derivative service industry is chiefly distributed in the capitals and other administrative centers. (4) The e-commerce index and the logistics performance index are positively related to the upstream and downstream industries. Otherwise, the upstream shipping auxiliary industry is also affected by the degree of economic freedom, the number of tourist arrivals, and the liner transport index, while the downstream shipping derivative service industry is mainly influenced by international trade and political culture. This study provides a theoretical reference for China to construct an international shipping center, reaches the linkage development between upstream and downstream shipping services, and improves the overall strength of China's shipping industry.

Key words: upstream and downstream shipping service industry, spatial pattern, influencing factors, chain network