Minor Port Management and Maritime Logistics

Broadening minor
Minor code
FEB53107M / MINFEW09


For decades, ports have expanded on the basis of long term forecasts, often publicly financed. Nowadays, in the 21st century, the port landscape looks much different. Disruptive developments such as digitization, automation and transition towards alternative energy are shortening the planning horizons which makes it much more complex to foresee and plan for future port development. One thing is certain: 20th century business practices are no longer an option. Decisions that are made today will have a significant impact on how we will shape the port of the future. How to cope with these transition issues, what will ‘we’ do different than we did yesterday? 

Being on the main arteries of international (maritime) trade, ports are highly influenced by decisions made by traders, shipping companies and terminal operators. Understanding the principles of international trade, maritime logistics, supply chain management and transportation is fundamental to understanding the position of the port within this complex and highly dynamic international network.

Port management and maritime logistics is of interest for businesses like shipping lines, terminal and warehouse operators, companies in transport and logistics, port authorities, financial institutions, (governmental) policy makers. This minor teaches a broad range of relevant and state-of-the art topics in the field of port management and maritime logistics, where students take advantage of being in the transport and logistics hub of Europe, the port city of Rotterdam. The lectures explain the functioning and management of maritime shipping, international supply chains, as well as the port as a large and dynamic complex of many different companies and processes. The relationship between port and regional economic development will also be addressed.

Learning objectives

This minor gives an understanding of the processes that underlie port management and maritime logistics from an economics, operations and management perspective. It explains international and maritime transport, terminal and port management, intermodality and hinterland transport, and the interrelationship between port and region from a multidisciplinary perspective.

The multidisciplinary character is underlined with the fact that the minor consists of 3 modules: Maritime Economics (ME), Port Economics and Management (PEM); and Container Logistics and Inland Network (CLIN). 

Students are challenged to use and integrate the knowledge from these modules in the case assignments. Furthermore, students take advantage of learning from the port of Rotterdam, engage with both academia as well as guest speakers from the port and terminal companies.

Special aspects

Proficiency in English, both verbal as in writing is a prerequisite to participate in the minor port management and maritime logistics. A good command in Excel is recommended.

Overview modules

Module 1: Maritime Economics

  • ECTS: 4
  • Content: Maritime economics is the branch of economics that deals with the transportation of goods by sea. The learning goal of this module is to offer the students’ knowledge and insight in the economic structure of the maritime industry. In particular, we will address demand for ocean shipping, the determination of prices, the origins of revenue and costs, and the consequences of cost structures for specialization in activities in shipping. The module will highlight the role of containerization in the maritime transport. At the end of the module students should have some idea of how to make money in this industry, as well as understand the behavior of some of the major players. In addition, they should be able to formulate the requirements of shipping companies from the perspective of port management.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, workshops and written exam.
  • Teaching materials: A selection of chapters from the book: Stopford, M., (2009), Maritime Economics (2009, 3rd edition). New York: Routledge (also available as e-Book via catalogue of the Erasmus University Library), and additional papers indicated on blackboard before the course.
  • Contact hours: 2 hours per week.
  • Self study: 9 hours per week.

Module 2: Port Economics and Management

  • ECTS: 4
  • Content: The aim of this module is to provide student with theoretical and applied knowledge on seaports from an economic and management perspective. In this module we focus on ports as element in international supply chains and the locations of in general three economic activities, namely cargo transfer, (petro-) chemical industry, and logistics. One of the most important determinants for a port is its location in transport networks and the hinterland they serve. Besides the location of ports, port competition, port competiveness and the performance of ports are relevant issues. Special attention is given to the role of the port authority and its activities. Next to these topic the course will provide theoretical and applied knowledge about the relationship between ports and regional economic development.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, case study and written exam.
  • Teaching materials: A selection of articles and literature will be indicated on Blackboard/Canvas before the course.
  • Contact hours: 2 hours per week.
  • Self study: 9 hours per week.

Module 3: Container logistics and Inland Network

  • ECTS: 4
  • Content: The introduction of the container had an enormous impact on production and distribution networks. The production of goods became globalised, while distribution systems were able to interact more efficiently with each other. This module provides a conceptual and applied approach to container logistics and the port–hinterland relationships, and highlights recent developments in the inland container networks. A network can be defined as a system of locations (seaports, inland regions) or nodes (deep-sea terminal or inland terminal) and linkage between those nodes via road, rails and waterway. Every part of the network will be discussed, combined with insights from recent research. We for example discuss how deep-sea terminal operator ECT vertically integrate in inland operations via its Extended Gate project, or how the Rotterdam railway tries to improve its operations. Special attention is paid to the increasing role of security in world-wide supply chains.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, case study, and written exam.
  • Teaching materials: A collection of articles and literature will be indicated on Blackboard/Canvas before the course.
  • Contact hours: 2 hours per week.
  • Self study: 9 hours per week.

Module 4: Integration Case*

  • ECTS: 3
  • Content: The assignments in this minor have an overarching theme, namely to develop a strategy for the port of Rotterdam to improve connectivity, accessibility and attractiveness with the ultimate objective to build a competitive advantage above rival ports. The objectives of a case driven method is to develop new knowledge, apply knowledge, make informed judgements, as well to improve teamwork and communication skills. As the case study work is spread out over a longer period of time, there is sufficient time to reflect and improve based on feedback. In other words, a case driven approach aims for better comprehension and richer learning experiences. The first assignment is a market analysis. The second is centres around port competition. The conclusive assignment is the strategy synthesis.
  • Teaching method: Individual tuition.
  • Teaching materials: Assignments and some articles and literature that will be indicated on Blackboard/Canvas before the course.
  • Contact hours: 1 hour per week.
  • Self study: 6 hours per week.

*Module 4 consists of a case study, which distinguishes 3 assignments. The third assignment is not required for ESE students who follow the 12 ECTS minor


Method of examination
Module 1, 2 and 3 will be evaluated with a written exam. The first written exam will be held in week 4; during this exam the module Maritime Economics will be assessed. The other exam in the 8th week assesses module 2 and 3.

Module 4 is the integration case consisting of 3 assignments. The deadlines of the cases and assignments are spread out over the 8 weeks. The third case assignment is not required for ESE students who follow the 12 ECTS minor.

Composition of final grade
The PMML minor accounts for 12 ECTS (FEB53107) or 15 ECTS (FEB53107M). Only ESE students can opt to follow the 12 ECTS course. Non-ESE students follow the 15 ECTS course. The below table summarizes how to successfully complete the minor.







Written exams










Assignment 1 and 2

Assignment 1, 2 and 3


Case: 40% (average of both assignments)

Written exam: 60%

Case: 50% (average of all 3 assignments)

Written exam: 50%


Weighted average

Weighted average

All students will follow the 3 modules, and take the 3 exams. The students will work on the case in a team of 3 students. Students are free to choose their partner. Assignment 1 and 2 stand on its own. Assignment 3 builds on the understanding of the previous assignments. It is highly recommended to keep teams the same, especially when choosing the 15 ECTS variant.

The grade for every module and every assignment needs to be at least a 4.5. A lower grade cannot be compensated. A final grade of 5.5 is sufficient to pass the minor.

After the exams a session will be organized where students can discuss their work with the instructors.

Contact information

M. Jansen, MSc
+31 10 4081578
room: H16-09

Faculty website

Broadening minor
Minor code
FEB53107M / MINFEW09
Erasmus School of Economics
Study points (ECTS)
Instruction language
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


Please read the application procedure for more information.