Port Management and Maritime Logistics

Study ports and maritime economics in the transport and logistics hub of Europe.

Name minor:

Port Management and Maritime Logistics (PMML)



Programme which has the coordinating role for this minor:

Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Teaching language:


Other programmes which are contributing to the minor:

not applicable


See admissions matrix


The port of Rotterdam is the largest port of Europe with an annual throughput of 465 million tons of cargo, serving 350 million consumers in Europe. Ports are not only gateways for international freight transport, but also locations for economic activities that are directly or indirectly related to the business of handling ships and goods, such as (petro-)chemical industries, warehouses, financial and legal services, logistics, trade, headquarters of companies in transport and logistics, and hinterland transport. The port of Rotterdam generates an added value of 12 billion euro and almost 140.000 jobs, of which approximately two-thirds are directly port-related. Transport and logistics is one the key sectors of the Dutch economy, and is also one of fastest growing sectors. One of the biggest challenges in the port of Rotterdam is how it can realize future growth in a more efficient and sustainable way, while increasing profits and added value to the regional and national economy. Rotterdam is not only the largest port in Europe with many challenges in the futures, it is also a leading city in port-related research.  The lecturers involved all have a well established research reputation in the field. Not only in terms of academic publications as well in market-based research, consultancy and policy advice for port users, port authorities and governmental organizations. 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 is given by lecturers from different disciplines, such as economics, economic geography, operations research and management.

Specific characteristics:

No specific characteristics required. Good command of the English language is an advantage.


Maximum number of students that can participate in the minor:


Minimum number of students that can participate in the minor:


Contact hours:

60 hours

Overview modules:

Module 1: Maritime Economics
Module 2: Port Economics and Management Module 3: Container Logistics and Inland Network
Module 4: Assignments on Port Management and Maritime Logistics Module 4 is not required for ESE students that opt for a 12 ECTS minor.

Module 1: Maritime Economics

  • ECTS:

  • Teaching method:

    Lectures,  case, 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.
  • Content:

    Maritime economics is the branch of economics that deals with the transportation of goods by sea.  This module focuses mainly on the economics of ocean shipping. What makes this field challenging is that it deals with an industry that is characterized by high investments in a very uncertain environment. Survival in these conditions requires a good insight in market structures, market dynamics, the processes that determine prices, the main drivers of costs, and the activities that generate revenue. The learning goal of this module is to offer the students knowledge and insight in the economic structure of the maritime industry. In particular, the lecture cycle 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.  Special attention in given to container shipping as it had an enormous impact on production and distribution networks. 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.

Module 2: Port Economics and Management

  • ECTS:

  • Teaching method:

    Lectures case, excursion, and written exam
  • Teaching materials:

    A selection of articles and literature will be indicated on Blackboard before the course.
  • Content:

    The aim of this course is to provide student with theoretical and applied knowledge on seaports from an economic and management perspective. A seaport is a collection of different but related economic activities. Consequently, there is no single unit of analysis in port studies. Examples of relevant units of analysis in port studies are transport companies, the port authority and a container terminal operator. 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. Next to these issues attention is given to the relationship between ports and city.  

 Module 3: CONTAINER logistics and inland network

  • ECTS

    : 4
  • Teaching method:

    Lectures, case, and written exam
  • Teaching materials:

    A collection of articles and literature will be indicated on Blackboard before the course.
  • Content:

    The introduction of the container had an enormous impact on worldwide trade. The production of goods became globalized, while distribution systems were able to interact more efficiently with each other. This module gives an overview and insight in the role of containers in intercontinental supply chains. The module aims at high lightening recent developments in the 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. In this module every part of the network will be discussed, combined with insights from recent research. Recent research focuses for example on how deep-sea terminal operator ECT vertically integrate in inland operations via its Extended Gate project, or on how actors in the Rotterdam container barge industry try to improve their operations


  • ECTS

    : 3
  • Content:

    In this module the students work in a team on different assignments related to Port Management and Maritime Logistics. In the assignments students are challenged to combine theoretical and applied knowledge.
  • Teaching method:

    individual tuition
  • Teaching materials

    : assignments and some articles and literature that will be indicated on Blackboard before the course.


Method of examination:

Module 1, 2 and 3 will be evaluated with a written exam and  a case. The exam counts for 70% and the case for 30%. The first written exam will be held in the 4th week; during this exam the module Maritime Economics will be assessed. The other exam in the 8th week assesses module 2 and 3. To qualify for 15 ECTS, student have to take module 4 and work in a team on different assignments. The deadlines of the cases and assignments are spread out over the 8 weeks.

Composition of final grade:

The final grade of the minor is the weighted average of the three or fourmodules. The grade for every module needs to be at least a 4.5. A lower grade cannot be compensated with grades for other modules. 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

Contact person:

Dr. ing. Martijn van der Horst
Phone (010) 4081410
Room: H16-07

Faculty website: