The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 173

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8 November 2011

Cooperation in container shipping: A small world network of agreements.

The recent economic downturn has increased the need for cooperation among carriers in the container shipping industry. We introduce in this work a  network analysis to investigate the topology and hierarchical structure of inter-carrier relationships.

Our dataset is comprised of 65 carriers that provide 604 container services. Main findings indicate that the Cooperative Container Network (CCN) belongs to the family of small world networks. We demonstrate that when we increase the value of the connectivity among carriers, the handled capacity increases linearly, whereas the clustering coefficient decreases linearly. We then show how the economic success of a container carrier is often based on cooperation but also on its strategic dominant positioning within the container market.

Authors: Simone Caschili, Francesca Romana Medda, Francesco Parola, Claudio Ferrari

Publication Date: 11/2011


Download working paper No. 173. File size 1.61MB, PDF format.