The concept of hinterland is influenced by the type of maritime/land interface.
- In the context of a single port (A), the main hinterland is a captive hinterland as there are no or limited options to use an alternative port. Such hinterlands are usually found in developing countries and tend to be associated with resources that are found in a delimited area, such as a mines and agricultural areas. Ports tend to be less specialized with most of the activity around a limited number of commodities.
- With multiple ports (B) are present along a maritime range, their main hinterland is expanded with the competitive hinterland where they are vying for a market share. A competitive hinterland could even be an inland area connected to ports by corridors. Such markets tend to be more diversified, covering a wide range of economic sectors supported by containerization.
- For complex and developed hinterlands, competition can take place over more than one maritime range (C), such as for North America and Europe. Shippers have several options with ports trying to gain an advantage through the devlopment of corridors than include facilities such as inland ports. Such hinterlands characterize complex and integrated markets that can be accessed from several gateway regions.