OECD and Port Performance

The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an alliance of 36 member states. Most of them have an above-average economic level with a higher income. Several port-related research initiatives are worth mentioning, most of them published by the OECD research team at International Transport Forum (ITF):

  • In 2013, OECD developed a meta-study of approximately 150 port impact studies worldwide to compare the socio-economic impacts of ports worldwide. While the OECD explicitly mentions that the methods used in these studies differ in many ways, they draw a number of high-level conclusions on the economic impacts of ports.
  • Another source of more case-based information on port performance can be found in the OECD Port-Cities Program. This program aimed to identify how ports can be assets for urban development. The program primarily assessed the impact of ports on cities and regions. It also compared policies aimed at increasing positive regional impacts of ports and limiting negative effects. While the focus is mainly on the port-city interaction, the reports also contain case-based data on the aspects of the performance of the ports under consideration. The OECD has published a large number of case study reports as part of the port-cities program.
  • The OECD has authored several other reports on the measurement of the socio-economic impact of seaports, the efficiency of world ports for containers and bulk cargo, port migration, the hinterland connectivity of ports, and the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • OECD has developed several discussion papers specifically dealing with the (container) shipping industry with some references to port performance, such as on the impact of mega-ships on ports and supply chains, the role of alliances in container shipping (as input for the evaluation of the EU Consortia Block Exemption), the Northern Sea Route (NSR), the decarbonization of shipping and maritime subsidies.