Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (12): 2226-2240.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201712008

• Transport Logistics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial organizational mechanism of port and shipping service industry in a hub port city: A case study of Shanghai

Youhui CAO1(), Shuangbo LIANG1, Wei WU1(), Huan CHEN1,2, Shilin YE1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-01-20 Revised:2017-08-08 Online:2017-12-25 Published:2017-12-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41771139, No.41271137, No.41671132


Based on the theory of industry evolution and scale coupling, this article constructs a multi-scale unified theoretic analysis framework of spatial organizational mechanism of port & shipping service industry. On the global scale, an induction and deduction analysis has shown that under the influence of economic globalization, technological reform, industrial organization reform, regional strategic responses, and other multi-level factors and mechanisms, a hierarchical assignment structure has been formed in port & shipping service industry, with a minority of hub port cities becoming pivotal nodes of port & shipping service agglomeration and development, of which the structural gravity has been shifted from transportation & warehousing to agent & technical services, and subsequently to advanced port & shipping service enterprises. On the urban scale, owing to the differences of the intrinsic attributes of port & shipping service industry and the location endowment, the spatial layout of port and shipping service enterprises has displayed a distribution pattern, which automatically assigns advanced class, agent & technical class and transportation & warehousing class respectively from the center to the periphery of a city. The framework analyzed above has been used in addition with the positional data of port and shipping service enterprises in the city of Shanghai from 1996 to 2014 to corroborate an empirical study on the processes, structures, and patterns of the city's spatial organization of port and shipping service industry. The statistical analysis suggests that the proportions of transportation & warehousing class, agent & technical class, and advanced class of port & shipping service enterprises have been converted from 77.81%, 20.15%, and 2.04% to 47.78%, 46.20%, and 6.03%, respectively, from 1996 to 2014, with a manifest trend of industrial upgrading to the higher end of the value chain. The methodological approach of this article includes a circle distance analysis, a hotspot analysis and a kernel density estimation, which collectively evince that: (1) the tendency of suburbanization of transportation & warehousing enterprises has been strengthened; (2) the agglomeration trend of the agent & technical enterprises remains strong, along with a noticeable diffusion pattern with intermittent character; (3) the advanced enterprises are highly polarized to the center, with warm spots developing steadily in the peripheral areas. As the final stage of the analysis, this article enunciated the macro and micro mechanisms that have affected the structural and distributional patterns indicated above.

Key words: hub port city, port & shipping service industry, spatial organization, mechanism, Shanghai