Ports are a key facilitator of maritime trade as 80% of global trade is carried by ships (UNCTAD, 2022). Ports act as crucial gateways and nodes which support billions of tonnes moving through them. Ports are viewed as an economic catalyst for the regions they serve contributing to economic growth, jobs, taxes, and facilitating decarbonisation (Notteboom et al, 2022; Alamoush et al, 2022). The rapid rise of globalisation and technological advances has increased trade through shipping, specifically containers, to utilise economies of scale (UNCTAD, 2022). That adds tremendous pressure on the logistics and infrastructure of ports (ibid). Larger vessels present large challenges for these mega ports and put immense pressure on port infrastructure resulting in congestion (Monios et al, 2018). To release some of the pressure, a recent focus on medium or small size ports is developed as an alternative to support the supply chains. Some examples are Gdansk in Poland, Yilport’s Taranto in Italy, and UK’s Teesport (Monios, 2018). The present case study is focused on a medium UK port, the Port of Plymouth (PoP), where we investigated the potential for the PoP to become a sustainable multipurpose gateway for the Southwest of England.

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Plymouth Business School