Most scientific attention in freight transportation port studies centers on the characteristics of deep-sea ports, in particular container ports. In our paper, in contrast, we focus our attention on the performance of inland ports in a European context, which is up to now an overlooked part in the scientific literature on port development. Based on a large-scale quantitative dataset of Dutch inland ports we perform various statistical analyses to arrive at a more detailed understanding of the performance of inland ports. We try to explain the performance of inland ports in terms of transshipment level and growth in transshipment by several transport and economic factors. We test for differences in size and in volume growth and control for differences in diversity of transshipped goods and in availability of a container terminal in the inland port. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the performance of inland ports, as explained by general port characteristics. A better understanding of the characteristics and growth patterns of inland ports might also be beneficial to European practitioners and policy-makers in dealing with inland ports’ development strategies in their daily practice.
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