VI. From port authorities to port development companies; implications for policy, governance and strategy research

Port authorities are increasingly positioned as autonomous state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and no longer as part of the public administration. As argued amongst others in de Langen & van der Lugt (2017), given this transition, the term 'port development company' is more appropriate than the term port authority: the core role of the organization is not based on authority but has to be based on the creation of value for a diverse group of port users. The term port development company (PDC) reflects this role. This special session's goal is to present and discuss the state of the art of the policy, governance and strategy of the port development company. Perspectives that are relevant and for which we ask for contributions are:

  • the governance perspective of a PDC's as state-owned enterprise (level and type of its governmental owners/shareholders, board composition, financial framework, principal-agent issues between a governmental owner and PDC)
  • the strategic perspective of a PDC as a key player in a localized business ecosystem (business model choice, roles, responsibilities, arrangements between PDC and port companies, pricing issues, value-creating for the business ecosystem, cooperation between PDCs)
  • the regulatory perspective of a PDC as a state-owned enterprise (fair competition, anti-trust, transparency)
  • the right 'spatial scope' for the PDC; local, regional or national


Dr. Peter de Langen 

Copenhagen Business School

Dr. Larissa van der Lugt 

Erasmus University Rotterdam