US container port resilience in a complex and dynamic world
Justice, V and Bhaskar, P and Pateman, H and Cain, P and Cahoon, S, US container port resilience in a complex and dynamic world, Maritime Policy and Management, 43, (2) pp. 179-191. ISSN 0308-8839 (2016) [Refereed Article]
The resilience of US container ports is increasingly challenged by disruptive and stressful events such as regulatory change, adverse weather, larger container ship sizes, changing patterns of trade and sea routes, and the still to be quantified effects of enlarging the capabilities and capacity of the Panama Canal. Port sustainability requires the port managers to be resilient in their practices, to maintain existing performance levels and to increase market share when opportunity presents. The primary question that this paper addresses is how US container ports might be affected by adverse events and how they undertake resilience processes when faced with complex problems and uncertain outcomes. The paper gathers insights from literature on complex adaptive systems to discuss how US container ports may adapt to changing circumstances through innovation and the emergent outputs of self-organised agents (components) of their port organisations. The paper suggests that by conceptualising ports as complex adaptive systems, port managers may be able to better understand the complexity of change and organisational dynamics and thus harness the phenomenon of self-organisation towards their strategic intent.
US container ports, sustainability, resilience, complex adaptive systems