Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2019, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 474-487.doi: 10.1007/s11769-019-1035-1

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Spatial Pattern and Heterogeneity of Port & Shipping Service Enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta, 2002-2016

CAO Youhui1,2, JIANG Ziran3,4, YE Shilin1,2,5, WU Wei1,2, LIANG Shuangbo1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China;
    2. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China;
    3. College of Economics and Management, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004;
    4. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101;
    5. University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2018-05-10 Online:2019-06-27 Published:2019-05-06
  • Contact: LIANG Shuangbo.
  • Supported by:

    Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41771139, 41671132, 41801111), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20171516), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No. LY18D010004)


Using the ‘theoretical hypothesis-empirical study-case verification’ method, this paper studies the spatial distribution and differentiation of port & shipping service enterprises (PSSE), as well as the variation process and underlying mechanism in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). First, through inductive and deductive reasoning, we propose the following hypothesis:the regional distribution of different types of PSSE would show different spatial agglomeration-decentralization tendency; and there would be distinct regional differentiation in the industrial structure of the enterprises. Second, based on data obtained from enterprises, empirical research is conducted using Gini coefficient and spatial interpolation simulation methods. Results show that:1) The overall enterprise distribution is decentralized within a city. 2) Different types of enterprises show different spatial agglomeration-decentralization tendencies. At 3000 m×3000 m grid scale, there is an agglomeration tendency along seas and rivers in the spatial distribution of enterprises. Shanghai has been identified consistently as a hot spot. 3) There is significant regional differentiation in 12 port cities with respect to the industrial structures of enterprises. Finally, the transportization and the increase of shipping service demand, the globalization and the expansion of multinational corporate activities, the hierarchization and the cooperation among port cities as well as the decentralization and the behavioral difference between the central and local states can be seen as main driving mechanism of the spatial phenomenon.

Key words: port &, shipping service enterprises, spatial distribution, regional differentiation, hub port city, Yangtze River Delta