Local strength, global weakness: A maritime network perspective on South Korea as Northeast Asia’s logistics hub

Cesar Ducruet*, Sung-Woo Lee**, Stanislas Roussin***
Author Information & Copyright
*Corresponding Author: French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), University of Paris I Sorbonne UMR 8504 Gographie-cits 13 rue du Four F-75006 Paris, France Email: Telephone: 33-140-464-007 Fax: 33-140-464-009
**Shipping, Port & Logistics Department, Korea Maritime Institute, 1652, Sangamdong Mapogu Seoul, 121-270, Korea
***General Manager & Head of Research Department, SERIC COREE, 1302 Byucksan Digital Valley V, 60-73 Gasandong Geumcheongu Seoul, 153-801, Korea

© Copyright 2021 Korea Maritime Institute. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jun 30, 2009


Port development in South Korea has taken advantage of the country’s remarkable situation and economic growth during the past decades. However, the governmental ‘two-hub port strategy’ is currently at stake because of fierce competition from Chinese ports. Based on a global database on the daily movements of containerships, this paper proposes an evaluation of the position of South Korean ports within Northeast Asian liner networks in 1996 and 2006. Main results show that although Chinese ports have increased substantially their position in the maritime system, South Korean ports (notably Busan) still keep a dominant hub function in this region. However, a multi-scalar analysis shows the limited global radiance of South Korean ports. Implications for policy and further research are addressed.

Keywords: Asia; betweenness; centrality; hub port; liner shipping; network analysis