THE UNITED STATES CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE AND EUROPEAN UNION CONTAINER SEAPORT COMPETITION
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The increasing volume of container trade poses formidable security challenges. As a result of terrorist attacks, a variety of compulsory and voluntary security measures have been introduced to enhance and secure maritime container trade. The United States (US) Container Security Initiative (CSI) was claimed to impose serious problems in European Union (EU) ports, and in particular it was claimed to affect EU container port competitiveness due to compliance cost and operational inefficiency. This research aimed to analyse the impact of the CSI on EU container seaport competition. Following an abductive approach, a conceptual model was developed based on the literature review. This directed the design of a Delphi study, which was used to test the opinions of academic, industrial and administrative experts. The Delphi results showed the necessity of implementing maritime security measures integrated into the entire supply chain. The negativity effects of additional costs and operational obstructions are insignificant compared to the overall benefits from a secure supply chain. The CSI is a successful and appropriate maritime security measure. With regard to its effects on the EU container seaport competition, the CSI has not distorted port competition and small ports have not lost market share. It helps the member ports to create new revenue streams and attract more container traffic, hence enhancing their competitiveness. Moreover, it facilitates global trade by reducing total transit time. A model which contains four factors was built to interpret the results of the Delphi research. This model helps to analyse how a maritime security policy will affect the EU port industry. This research also reveals two major issues under the current supply chain security framework, which are the substantial liability problem and unbalanced bilateral relations. A proposal for developing a comprehensive multilateral regime that is fully integrated into the entire supply chain is recommended as a sustainable solution.