Port integration on the Yangtze River: Does it follow an “interest balance” pattern?

Qiang Zhang, Dong Yang, Yang Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the main strategic port governance tools, port integration has been witnessed worldwide to facilitate regional port development. To examine whether the “interest balance” pattern observed in Chinese coastal region is also followed by the inland ports, this paper extends the work of Chen et al. (2020) by focusing on the implementations of port integration in the six inland provinces along the Yangtze River. A two-step methodological approach is adopted, including a descriptive analysis and an explanatory analysis. The findings suggest that a diversified implementation of port integration indeed exists on the Yangtze River and that inland ports follow the “interest balance” pattern. Specifically, institutional flexibility enables tailored implementations, which are characterized by diversity. The market structure and power distribution are recognized as the determinants that lead to the specific trajectories of port integration implementations. Notably, we also find that the geographical distance and the outside-in development model of inland ports can also affect inland port integration. This finding further enriches the “interest balance” pattern. Based on these findings, several general policy implications are proposed for inland port integration in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalTransport Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Diversified implementation
  • Interest balance
  • Port integration
  • Yangtze river

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation

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