What does it take to remain a leading World Port City in 2020?
World Port Cities are defined as the locations where port economies (physical exchange of merchandize and commodities) are linked with urbanized service economies (finance, insurance, legal, and IT). Locally brokered interactions and transactions between business services and their physical-operational clients in the shipping and trade sector can lead to vertical cross-overs, such as specialization, and to knowledge spill-overs.
At the same time, these type of industries tend to be among the most globalized in nature due to the very nature of international trade and shipping, therefore acting as global pipelines that pump capital, skills, data, knowledge and intelligence into local port-city economies though FDI, corporate and client networks and through the global exchange of highly skilled staff. The local interaction between shipping-and trade industries with business service industries has proved to be a historically relevant avenue of urban growth, ultimately leading to international maritime business service centres such as London, New York, Hamburg and more recently Singapore.
Rotterdam has an excellent proposition for maritime business services, see the OECD study of 2013, and it is exactly the co-location with one of the world’s leading ports and industrial clusters that provide opportunities for growth. Applied as well as fundamental research can help to develop strategies and actions to strengthen the competitiveness of Rotterdam’s business service cluster, united in the RMSC. The Smartport Roadmap will deliver tools, intelligence and policy recommendations to strengthen Rotterdam as world port city, that is to attract more headoffices of shipowners and logistics companies, to attracht commodity traders, to improve the business climate for maritime business services and to find new ways on how to combine port and urban functions at the waterfront through smart solutions .