KMI International Journal of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Korea Maritime Institute

Analysis on Container Throughput and Interaction of Korea, China and Japan Hub Ports

Yong-An PARK*
*Research Fellow: Korea Maritime Institute. E-mail:,

© 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: Dec 31, 2012


The port industry in North-east Asia, as the cases of economic, cultural, industrial, diplomatic and other activities among countries shows us dynamic interaction between hub ports. Japanese hub ports such as Kobe, Yokohama, and Osaka enjoyed the preoccupation effect in the liner trades and they transshipped the containers of neighbouring countries and ports from the early 1970s. Since the late 1980s, Busan port could improve its competitiveness in handling costs and connectivity for Japanese medium and small sized regional ports, and expanded its feeder networks to Chinese Northern regional ports in 1990s. A few Chinese ports could be the transshipment hub ports in North-east Asia which menaced the hub status of Kaoshiung and Taiwanese hub port in 2000s, and it may have weakened the feeder network around Korean ports.

Through pair correlation, partial correlation, panel data, and panel regression, this study finds significant implications in clarifying interaction and interrelation among the hub ports in North-east Asia. First, the relationship among ports changes continually. Therefore, dynamic interaction among hub ports would continue in 21st century. Second, the panel data and panel regression show us that the container throughput of five hub ports are connected with each other and also have its own specific characteristics. Third, there could be lock-in-effect in port activity, which causes auto-correlation of panel data. Finally, the fluctuation of container throughput of hub ports is affected mainly by trade amount and less by berth length.

Keywords: North-east Asia; hub port; interaction; panel regression