Source: Maritime ranges from Rodrigue, J-P (2020) “The Geography of Maritime Ranges: Interfacing Global Maritime Shipping Networks with Hinterlands”, Geojournal. Accessibility from Nelson, A. (2008) Estimated travel time to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people in the year 2000. Global Environment Monitoring Unit – Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra Italy.
A maritime range is a functional area where ports can be competing, complementary, and have common regulations when the range extends across several countries. They have shared characteristics of their respective hinterlands, such as level of development, economic density, and accessibility. Maritime shipping services are commonly established to connect maritime ranges, and occasionally, the maritime range marks the extent of regional feeder services, such as for the Caribbean and the Baltic.
Some maritime ranges and their hinterland have high levels of accessibility, particularly when connected by high-capacity rail corridors such as the East and West coasts of North America. Others are discontinuous and barely connected, such as the East and West coasts of Africa. In the former, an active contestable hinterland is in place, while in the other, each port is likely to have a single monopolistic hinterland.
Being a landlocked hinterland has a significant impact on economic opportunities. A hinterland (country) that does not have direct access to the ocean implies using ports in a third country through a land corridor and negotiating an access regime. This implies higher transport and import costs impacting their economic competitiveness. If containerized imports are considered, landlocked countries have a cost structure of about 85% higher than the world average.