testata inforMARE

20 ottobre 2020 Il quotidiano on-line per gli operatori e gli utenti del trasporto 02:56 GMT+2

8. Interconnections Between Traffic Areas, "Round-the-World" Services, Landbridges

The interconnections between the areas of traffic of the large companies, consortia and alliances operating combined with the overlapping of traffic networks using systems of transport and inland terminals, opened the way for one of the great innovations of the 1980s - "Round-the-World" services. On the one hand this innovation has coincided with greatly increased market horizons and potential flows of traffic and, as already mentioned, it has created the conditions for a generational qualitative leap in the dimensions of container ships. While, on the other hand, it means being able to take advantage of the concept of global circumnavigation in both directions so as to exploit every possible "outward" voyage - in the direction of the greatest availability of cargoes - and alter the itinerary as necessary on those legs constituting the "inward" voyage - where there is less availability of cargoes - in order to increase such availability. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of including on inward voyages legs which, on other more limited local routes, would otherwise be considered "outward" (as sometimes occurs, for example, in the case of the "thin lines").

Moreover, there is the previously described need, on the part of the large shipping carriers involved in intermodal transport, especially containers, together with their consortia and alliances, to create a network. This establishes the preconditions for a further step forward in the evolution of the sector: the creation of landbridges (also referred to as "dry channels" or "link bridges"). The consequence is to reduce, through the introduction of land-based legs of considerable length, distances and time on international routes of great importance which would otherwise be covered entirely by sea. In such cases the usual means of land transport adopted is rail.

The most important example in terms of ramifications and innovative impetus is the landbridge constituted by the direct high-speed railway link between Los Angeles and New York previously mentioned.

It is well known that in the last few decades the major international economic epicentres - and therefore the principal sources of world shipping traffic, particularly in container transport - have been moving towards South East Asia, the Far East and the Pacific (at any rate, east of Singapore). This tendency is highlighted, as regards container traffic, by the fact that ten or eleven of the twenty major companies, of the twenty principal ports and of the twenty most important countries are located in this area.

While the other terminus for this traffic connection - that centred in New York - represents the interconnection of several North-American metropolitan areas and continues to constitute the greatest concentration of economic activity in the world.


Indice Prima pagina Università degli Studi di Genova
Dipartimento di Economia - Sezione Trasporti

- Piazza Matteotti 1/3 - 16123 Genova - ITALIA
tel.: 010.2462122, fax: 010.2516768, e-mail