Technological and organisational changes in transport system have introduced new dimension into port system development and inter-port competition. The quality of service now required by the customer is costly and not easily provided by small shipping companies and small ports. It has been suggested that in the future container shipping may be concentrated by space-sharing arrangements or actual mergers into the hands of a few mega-operators with the investment potential to provide total logistics networks. In order to compete effectively, high load factors will be essential and port concentration inevitable. A fa-voured few ports will become the load centres and other ports will assume a secondary feeder role. In this study, three questions are raised and attempts are made to answer them : (a) what is the new role of ports today ; (b) why should ports be engaged in this new role ; and (c) how can ports play this new role. In short, a modern port should be a service centre and a logistic platform for international trade and transport-a third generation port. Ports, in particular, have to make every effort to be competitive in the cost and quality of services and to make the port a transport and distribution service centre. For most ports, this is not an option but a must ; an essential requirement for survival in this win or lose situation. The best way to win is to maintain a close contact with port users, listen to them, discuss with them, help them and satisfy them. That is port marketing. Starting from the findings of port marketing, it is es-sential to work out appropriate development plans and marketing targets and to improve port competitive-ness. As an alternative method, a port competitiveness model is suggested, which may help port managers to make appropriate improvements.
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