WIT Press

Evaluation of structural factors in a third- generation port: methods and applications


Free (open access)


Volume 6 (2022), Issue 4



Page Range

347 - 362

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Giuseppe Musolino, Antonio Cartisano, Giovanna ChilĂ , Giuseppe Fortugno & Maria Rosaria Trecozzi


UNCTAD identified the structural factors of commercial ports and introduced the general definition of ‘port generation’. Third-generation ports were born with the container revolution in the last decades of the 20th century. The container became the main unit for the transport of goods, both intermediate and finished, between production and consumption regions. Containerization allowed the globalization of the economy and ports became the nodes of the global supply chain.

The paper proposes a methodology, based on consolidated theoretical models, to ex-ante evaluate the current and future scenarios of an international commercial port. The methodology has been applied to the container port of Gioia Tauro, with the aim to verify its ability to become a third-generation port as a generator of value added, rather than only a centre of cost. The results of the application allowed to identifying the development direction and the planned interventions in the port, as far as concerns general transport, agri-food logistics and mechanical logistics.


agri-food sector, case study, general logistics, mechanical sector, port of Gioia Tauro, third- generation ports.