1. bookVolume 22 (2021): Issue 3 (June 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
20 Mar 2000
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

A Digital or Sustainable Small and Medium-Sized Port? Sustainable Port Blueprint in the Baltic Sea Region Based on Port Benchmarking

Published Online: 22 Jun 2021
Page range: 332 - 342
Journal Details
First Published
20 Mar 2000
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Small and medium-sized ports (SMSPs) in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) are caught in a dilemma of less financial support by the European funding programmes due to their peripheral position in the TEN-T Core Network. Most of the BSR ports belong to the TEN-T Comprehensive Network, which is rationally less important in the topical financial, infrastructural and policy discourses. Despite this, BSR ports are of a colossal importance for the regional economic development serving as gateways for the individual regions and drivers of socio-economic and environmental transition. In addition, ports are essential in pursuing new innovation avenues. The environmental targets published by the European Commission for maritime sector in 2030 and 2050 are applicable for SMSPs as well, creating further obstacles and future challenges on the one hand, but opening new horizons to grow and innovate on the other one. A successful environmental and digital transformation going hand in hand in SMSPs enable sustainable boost of sustainable development. Thus, as a first step, the assessment of sustainable readiness in SMSPs is incumbent in order to implement tailor-made solutions on individual basis, by ensuring efficient usage of available resources and capabilities. In line with the Connect2SmallPorts project, part-financed by the INTERREG South Baltic Programme, 38 SMSPs in the BSR were approached to mapping their digital readiness according to the methodology of the Digital Readiness Index for Ports (DRIP), published within the project in 2020. Building upon this, this paper introduces the idea of digital and environmental twinning to conclude on sustainable development potentials in SMSPs with an adaptation of the DRIP score. Hence, the research contributes to the sustainable port concept and illustrates the positioning of SMSPs in the progress of sustainable development.


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