Port authorities have transformed into hybrid organizations mostly disassociated from operational activities and port services provision. Still, they maintain a key role in managing bodies advancing the prospects of respective port and associated clusters. Marketing is among the functions working towards this end.

In a new port study, PortEconomics members Francesco Parola and Thanos Pallis – joined by Marcello Risitano and Marco Ferretti – develop an innovative conceptualization of the marketing strategies developed by Port Authorities (PAs), framing a relevant case of the hybrid organisation into a business marketing perspective.

The study – that has been published in the distinctive journal Transportation Research Part A (Policy and Practice) – employs business marketing perspectives and their applications in hybrid organisations to introduce a novel conceptualisation of PA marketing strategies.

Within this theoretical angle, their study builds a multi-dimensional framework on PA strategic positioning that combines

  1. PAs’ marketing objectives in various Strategic Business Areas;
  2. the multi-faceted geography of the targeted salient stakeholders; and
  3. the induced portfolio of marketing actions, whose ramifications unveil virtuous cross-fertilization effects and fuel the success of PA marketing strategies.


This model enables to identify five different patterns of market coverage across diverse strategic business areas.


Source: PortEconomics