Vulnerability of Maritime Infrastructure: A Network Science Approach

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In the last half-century, global merchandise trade has grown from a fifth of global GDP to a half, largely due to the advent of the shipping container and this, despite the recent financial crisis, is likely to grow further in its economic significance. This paper aims to analyse the vulnerability of global shipping network and the impact of hazards such as bunker fuel price rises and under-utilisation. A model of the maritime network is built using the commercial schedule of a major shipping company. This uses a network science approach where each port is represented as a node and an edge represents service between the connecting ports. Edges weights are derived using an improved model of the transport costs. Different centrality measures and their distribution form the basis of performance assessment of the network and the ports. It is observed that (a) the global operations depend on the continued availability of a small percentage of the ports and (b) the changes in bunker fuel prices and utilisation on the network result in different global port hierarchies. These findings have potential uses in improving the network resilience and financial risk management. Finally, several port improvement scenarios are examined and their priority determined based on global operations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017
EventInternational Symposia on Next Generation Infrastructure - Intitution of Civil Engineers, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Sept 201713 Sept 2017


ConferenceInternational Symposia on Next Generation Infrastructure
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Structured keywords

  • Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures


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