Spatial pattern and regional relevance analysis of the Maritime Silk Road shipping network

Document Type


Publication Date



Geography and Geology

Publication Title

Sustainability (Switzerland)


Under the strategy of "One Belt and One Road", this paper explores the spatial pattern and the status quo of regional trade relevance of the Maritime Silk Road shipping network. Based on complex network theory, a topological structure map of shipping networks for containers, tankers, and bulk carriers was constructed, and the spatial characteristics of shipping networks were analyzed. Using the mode of spatial arrangement and the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, this paper further analyzes the traffic flow pattern of regional trade of three kinds of goods. It is shown that the shipping network of containers, tankers and bulk carriers are unevenly distributed and have regional agglomeration phenomena. There is a strong correlation between the interior of the region and the adjacent areas, and the port competition is fierce. Among them, the container ships network is the most competitive in the region, while the competitiveness of the tankers network is relatively the lowest. The inter-regional correlation is weak, and a few transit hub ports have obvious competitive advantages. The ports in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia are the most significant. The research results combined with the Maritime Silk Road policy can provide reference for port construction, route optimization, and coordinated development of regional trade, which will help to save time and cost of marine transportation, reduce energy consumption, and promote the sustainable development of marine environment and regional trade on the Maritime Silk Road.

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