Accessibility navigation

Accelerating the circular economy transition process for gateway ports: the case of the Port of Zeebrugge

Courtens, F. M. ORCID:, Haezendonck, E., Dooms, M. and Verbeke, A. (2023) Accelerating the circular economy transition process for gateway ports: the case of the Port of Zeebrugge. Maritime Transport Research, 4. 100088. ISSN 2666-822X

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.martra.2023.100088


The transition towards a circular economy (CE) has grown in importance during the last decade, and ports are now being viewed as potentially important contributors to this move towards a more sustainable economy. However, several research questions about adopting CE projects in ports remain unanswered. The importance of clustering and secondary resources for circular loops indicates the importance of proximity to either industrial clusters or urban zones. However, gateway ports (GWP), contrary to industrial ports, metropolitan (or urban) ports and diversified port hubs (which combine an industrial function with the proximity to a large urban area), do not benefit from the vicinity of these secondary resources. Nevertheless, even without access to such secondary resources, any port and port managing body (PMB) needs to prepare for the changing competitive landscape, with new cargo flows, material streams and related businesses linked to the circular economy transition of value chains. Here, GWPs, thanks to their nodal position, still have potential to function as platforms for circular transition initiatives arising in other industries. In the present study, we conceptualize a CE transition process, consisting of six steps, especially relevant to GWPs. We then explore the case of the Port of Zeebrugge (Belgium), shortly before its merger with the Port of Antwerp. We propose that GWPs should rely mainly on their potential to attract ‘new value streams’ as the main driver of their CE strategy. Here, top-down initiatives emanating from internal stakeholders, and likely even external ones, appear to provide pathways to CE success.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:112006


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation