KMI International Journal of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Korea Maritime Institute

Clusters Initiatives in Port Hinterlands

Chan-Young Jun*, Jong-kyoung Kim**
** Research Fellow, Port Research Division, Korea Maritime Institute. Maebongsanro Mapo-Gu Seoul, 121-915, Korea, E-mail :
**National Standard Coordinator for Smart Logistics, Korean Agency for Technology & Standards. 98-Gyoyukwon-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, 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


For the effective use of port hinterlands, the concept of supply chain logistics should be applied. Port hinterlands have a geographical advantage and an important infrastructure nearby. However, these merits of port hinterlands are not very significant from the point of view of supply chain logistics. In this respect, clustering can emerge as an alternative to develop port hinterlands. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are related with specialized industries in relevant regions can be clustered into a port hinterland to improve the competitiveness of supply chain logistics. In addition to the synergy effect it creates, clustering is expected to meet the construction objectives of port hinterlands thanks to its export-oriented nature. Types of businesses that would create synergy effects through clustering should be selected among regionally specialized industries adjacent to a port hinterland. The characteristics of selected businesses among candidates should also accord with the successful factors of clustering, technology accumulation, the likelihood to secure skilled labor, innovation and R&D capacities. As an illustration, locating a packaging cluster near a port can lead to a better connection between manufacturing to logistics. The “total logistics service with packaging” is not a new concept, but this could be a more cost efficient business model in port hinterlands.

Keywords: Clustering; Port hinterlands; Supply Chain Logistics; SMEs; Packaging clusters