Panel: Regional Development Studies

Chris Higgins: Varieties of Logistics Centres: Developing a Standardized Typology and Hierarchy

Bill Anderson: Logistics Intensive Clusters and Regional Economic Development

David W. Edgington: Local Development in the Higashi Osaka Industrial District

Ablajan Sulaiman and Christopher Bryant: Spatial Analysis of the Regional Economic Performance1 of Québec (Some data tables may be hard to read, you can view the original slides here.)

Please leave your comments or questions for the panalists below. A live discussion will be held on Friday, December 9 from 2:00-3:00PM. Click here to join the meeting room.


6 Responses to Panel: Regional Development Studies

  1. Pingback: First Annual CRSA/ACSR Virtual Conference, November 28 – December 9, 2011 | CRSA Meeting Site

  2. Bill Anderson says:

    I have a question for Chris Higgins. I think this is a terrific presentation and I couldn’t agree more with the utility of establishing a consistent categorization of logistics centres. My question is whether the definitions you are providing can be considered a hierarchy in the sense that a centre at a high level provides all the services of a centre at a lower level (for example, a freight village does everything that an inland port does.) Also, a practical comment. The term “freight village” which is the largest and most comprehensive type below a gateway in your system, has a nice sound to it so it is already being used by planning commissions etc. to refer to rather small clusters.

  3. Bruce Newbold says:

    Chris – was there a particular methodology that you used in creating your consolodated categories?

  4. David Edgington says:

    Three questions from David Edgington.

    I enjoyed watching the three other presentations in my panel.

    (1) Chris – your hierarchy of logistics centres tends to focus on the various `functions’ they play. Does the literature deal with (1) `physical features’, e.g. size of docks and specialization etc? (2) various corporate activities associated with the logistics centres, e.g. allied industrial and business parks? Will this be part of your future research?

    (2) Bill – I do work on Singapore from time to time. Its trajectory from a Southeast Asian logistics centre in the 1960s to a vibrant location of regional headquarters for the ASEAN trade region in the 1980s is well known. Could Chicago regain some of its corporate activities for NAFTA if it is the single largest logistics centre in the north american trade region? What are Chicago’s competitors here?

    Indeed, how do these logistics centres compete with each other? The rail network maps tend to reveal a regional specialization, so do the major logistics hubs play just a sub-NAFTA regional specialization (i.e. they don’t compete on a continental basis)?

    Finally, the port of Prince Rupert in BC is positioning itself as a Asian gateway into continental North America. Much of the `buzz’ here about BC’s gateway policy tends to overlook the small numbers of jobs created by intermodal facilities (as you mentioned). Question. Why do freight firms use Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco use Chicago to get into Toronto (rather than BC?).

    (3) Ablajan. Your analysis tended to end with a view that Quebec was performing according to `business as usual’. This is surprising. We might predict that as the provincial economy turns to the service economy then there might be centrifugal forces allowing population and jobs to leave Montreal for decentralized locations (smaller towns within commuting distance of Montreal). This is a trend for BC. How about Quebec?

  5. Chris Higgins says:

    Thank you for the good questions and comments Bruce and Bill.

    Bruce – to establish the consolidated categories we utilized the criteria used by the previous authors cited in the creation of their own typologies. This resulted in these criteria used to classify definitions in the literature:
    -primary mode of transportation
    -volume flows
    -role and scope of activities

    The hierarchy was then based on:
    -facility size (site, volume of freight, capacity)
    -influence (geographic coverage)
    -scope of functionality and value added activities

    As is probably the case with most presentations, these points come across better in the written paper, but I could have done a better job laying it out. For the future I will incorporate an additional slide about this issue, so thank you again for the helpful comments.

    Bill – I can relate to the multiplicity of terms… This issue is pretty much why we launched this side-project in the first place. If I could add my thoughts – I approach an Inland Port as a facility that performs a fairly specific set of functions that complement a mainport terminal. The best example off the top of my head are the logistics centres linked by rail to the Port of Los Angeles that you mentioned in your presentation where they are able to offload some of the capacity constraints faced at the mainport.

    We ultimately classified AllianceTexas as a Freight Village in our research as it really expands on the role of an Inland Port and Intermodal Terminal, though Alliance is a pretty unique case that I always thought would be best described as a ‘Freight City’ rather than village.

    Unfortunately a lack of consensus on this issue has meant that many of the names mentioned – freight village, inland port, logistics hub, etc. – are now being used more as marketing terms in some cases. An area of future research on this issue will be to frame existing logistics centres according to this classification and hopefully add some research value in that way. I would like to get some more of your thoughts on the issue of facility definition today during the discussion.

    Regarding your other point – yes I argue that in the hierarchy the facilities higher up the scale of functionality and value added incorporate the characteristics of the terminals below. Unfortunately point eluded me during the presentation and will certainly be clarified better in the future, as it is a pretty integral aspect of the hierarchy.

    Again thank you both for the questions and comments. This paper was recently selected for presentation at TRB so with your help I think it will be much improved.

  6. Ablajan says:

    Sorry for the late response. Montreal has decreased slightly in many indicators since 1998. But it is not very significant. Indeed, there are centrifugal forces allowing population and jobs to leave Montreal for decentralized locations such as Laval, Longueil. For example, Laval’s population has increased since 1996, and reached 400 thousand in 2010 while Saguenay’s and Gaspésie’s population have diminished for this period. However, most of the regions of Quebec have been steady for this period under study. In this study, comparisons were only made on the basis of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec. We will get clearer results if we analyze based on the more detailed data of 104 RCM and equivalent territories and 1292 municipalities of Quebec (Unfortunately, We could not get such a detailed data for our data analysis).

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