Communication between deep sea container terminals and hinterland stakeholders: information needs and the relevance of information exchange

  • Bart Wiegmans
  • Isle Menger
  • Behzad Behdani
  • Bart van Arem
Original Article


Hinterland container transport is increasingly identified as an important element in door-to-door transportation of goods in the context of global supply chains. Container terminal operators also continuously seek strategies to distinguish themselves from their competitors by providing dedicated information on containers, transport means and the terminal. This paper explores the information needs of container terminals and hinterland stakeholders and highlights the importance of different information types for different stakeholders. Information needs are studied through gate survey, interviews and questionnaires sent to different parties involved in seaport-hinterland transportation at the APM Terminal in Rotterdam. This information is divided in three main categories: information about containers, information about transport means and information about deep sea terminal. In each category, the specific information types and the importance of that information for each hinterland party are discussed. The findings of this research can be used by different hinterland parties to optimize the planning and control of container logistics processes. They can also support developing customized ICT solutions for hinterland transportation.


Information Freight transport Hinterland Intermodal Container 



We would like to thank APM Terminals, in particular Erik van de Kamp and Jouke Schaap, for supporting the project that has resulted in the present paper. We are also grateful to Rob Zuidwijk for his critical and helpful contributions. In addition, we would like to thank the editor and reviewers of MEL for the careful and thorough reading of our revised manuscript, and for their comments and constructive suggestions, which help us to improve the quality of the manuscript.


  1. Allen, E., and C.A. Seaman. 2007. Likert scales and data analyses. Quality Progress 40: 64–65.Google Scholar
  2. Angeloudis, P., and M.G. Bell. 2011. A review of container terminal simulation models. Maritime Policy & Management 38(5): 523–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baarda, D.B., M.P.M. de Goede, and J. Teunissen. 1995. Basisboek kwalitatief onderzoek: Praktische handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Houten: Stenfert Kroese.Google Scholar
  4. Brinkmann, B. 2011. Operations systems of container terminals: A compendious overview. In Handbook of terminal planning, pp. 25–39. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Carlo, H.J., I.F. Vis, and K.J. Roodbergen. 2014. Transport operations in container terminals: Literature overview, trends, research directions and classification scheme. European Journal of Operational Research 236(1): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crainic, T.G., M. Gendreau, and J.-Y. Potvind. 2009. Intelligent freight-transportation systems: Assessment and the contribution of operation research. Transportation Research Part C 17: 541–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Langen, P.W. 2007. Port competition and selection in contestable Hinterlands: The case of Austria. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research 7(1): 1–14.Google Scholar
  8. Ducruet, C., and M. van der Horst. 2009. Transport integration at European ports: Measuring he role and position of intermediaries. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research 9(2): 121–142.Google Scholar
  9. Flynn, B.B., B. Huo, and X. Zhao. 2010. The impact of supply chain integration on performance: A contingency and configuration approach. Journal of Operations Management 28: 58–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Franc, P., and M. Van der Horst. 2010. Understanding hinterland service integration by shipping lines and terminal operators: A theoretical and empirical analysis. Journal of Transport Geography 18(4): 557–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heilig, L., and Voß, S. 2014. A cloud-based SOA for enhancing information exchange and decision support in ITT operations. In Computational logistics, 112–131.Google Scholar
  12. Liew, A. 2007. Understanding data, information, knowledge and their inter-relationships. Journal of Knowledge Management Practice 8(2): 1–16.Google Scholar
  13. Menger, I. 2016. Information exchange between deep sea container terminals and hinterland parties: The information needs of hinterland parties and the impact of information exchange, MsC Thesis, TU Delft, Delft.Google Scholar
  14. Mirzabeiki, V., K. Lumsden, and G. Stefansson. 2009. Smart transportation management systems to support visibility of the supply chain information types. In Proceeding of the ITS World Congress. StockholmGoogle Scholar
  15. Notteboom, T., and J.-P. Rodrigue. 2008. Containerisation, box logistics and global supply chains: The integration of ports and liner shipping networks. Maritime Economics & Logistics 10: 152–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Olesen, P.B., I. Dukovska-Popovska, and H.H. Hvolby. 2013a. Improving port terminal operations through information sharing. Advances in production management systems. competitive manufacturing for innovative products and service, 662–669.Google Scholar
  17. Olesen, P.B., H.H. Hvolby, and I. Dukovska-Popovska. 2013b. Enabling information sharing in a port. Advances in production management systems. competitive manufacturing for innovative products and services, 152–159.Google Scholar
  18. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 16 Oct 2015.
  19. Panayides, P.M., and D.-W. Song. 2009. Port integration in global supply chains: Measures and implications for maritime logistics. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications 12(2): 133–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Patton, M.Q. 1999. Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. HSR Health Services Research 34(5): 1189–1208.Google Scholar
  21. Patton, M.Q. 2005. Qualitative research. Chichester: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stefansson, G., and K. Lumsden. 2009. Performance issues of smart transportation management systems. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 58(1): 55–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vanpoucke, E., K.K. Boyer, and A. Vereecke. 2009. Supply chain information flow strategies: An empirical taxonomy. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 29(12): 1213–1241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Veenstra, A., and R. Zuidwijk. 2010. The future of seaport hinterland networks, Liber Amicorum Jo van Nunen, Dinalog and RSM-Erasmus University of Rotterdam, 205–215Google Scholar
  25. Wallace, D.P. 2007. Knowledge management: Historical and cross-disciplinary themes. Libraries unlimited.Google Scholar
  26. Zhou, H., and W.C. Benton Jr. 2007. Supply chain practice and information sharing. Journal of Operations Management 25: 1348–1365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bart Wiegmans
    • 1
  • Isle Menger
    • 1
  • Behzad Behdani
    • 2
  • Bart van Arem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Transport and PlanningDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Operations Research and LogisticsWageningen University and ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations