Hinterland connectivity as a driver of the development of competitiveness of Polish ports in the post-EU accession period

  • Maciej Tarkowski University of Gdańsk
  • Sławomir Goliszek Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Tadeusz Bocheński University of Szczecin
Keywords: port competitiveness, drivers of competitiveness, hinterland connectivity, road transport, rail transport, Poland


Academic research has indicated that port competitiveness is multidimensional. Although a wide range of drivers of port competitiveness has already been determined, particular ports seem to use different sets of them at different development stages. This paper argues that significant growth in transhipment in Polish ports results from infrastructural development and mainly from enhanced hinterland connectivity. Before Poland had joined the EU, the hinterland connectivity was so underdeveloped that it was more convenient for many companies to use services of the German North Sea ports. However, with EU funds, road investments, travel times between the ports and hinterland have shortened by at least one-quarter. Moreover, the development of railway lines as well as the increase in the number of intermodal container terminals in the hinterland have also improved accessibility to the ports. Rail transport is especially significant for maintaining the competitiveness of ports at times of cutting-edge industry change, increasing the role of economies of scale in shipping.


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How to Cite
Tarkowski, M., Goliszek, S., & Bocheński, T. (2021). Hinterland connectivity as a driver of the development of competitiveness of Polish ports in the post-EU accession period. Journal of Geography, Politics and Society, 11(1), 16–26. https://doi.org/10.26881/jpgs.2021.1.03