Prof. Dr. Gordon Wilmsmeier

Associate Professor for Shipping and Global Logistics

Prof. Dr. Gordon Wilmsmeier

Associate Professor for Shipping and Global Logistics

Gordon Wilmsmeier is Professor of Maritime Logistics at Kühne Logistics University. In addition, he holds the Kühne Professorial Chair in Logistics at the School of Management, Universidad de los Andes at Bogotá, Colombia. Further, he is the Director of the Project Development Office of the University´s Vice-presidency for Research and Creation.

From 2011 to 2017, Professor Wilmsmeier worked as Economic Affairs Officer in the Infrastructure Services Unit at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC). Previously, he worked at Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute (TRI), Scotland and as consultant for UN-ECLAC, UNCTAD, UN-OHRLLS, the World Bank, Adelphi Research, JICA, IDB, CAF, OAS.

Professor Wilmsmeier received his PhD. in Geography from the University of Osnabrück and graduated as geographer from the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Gordon’s research focuses on maritime transport geography and economics, port economics and inland shipping issues. Recent projects focus on port governance, sustainable port development, energy efficiency, competition in liner shipping market, digitalization and technology in supply chains, and nautical electromobility. He has published over 100 book chapters, journal papers, institutional publications and working papers. His recent books include: "Geographies of Maritime Transport" and "Maritime Mobilities".

Gordon Wilmsmeier is honorary professor for Maritime Geography at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany, visiting lecturer at Göteborg University, Sweden, and Associate Researcher of the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL)at the Kühne Logistics University (KLU). He is leader of the global port performance research network (PPRN), and Vice-President of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), member of the WCTRS Special Interest Group - Intermodal Freight, and associate member of PortEconomics. Since 2002 his research group is part of IDB´s university network “Energy Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean”.


Tel: +49 40 328707-251
Fax: +49 40 328707-209


Academic Positions

Since 9/2021

Professor of Maritime Logistics, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany
2017 - 2021Kühne Professorial Chair in Logistics, School of Management, University Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
2011 - 2017

Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), Santiago, Chile

2007 - 2011

Principal Research Fellow, Transport Research Institute (TRI), Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburg, United Kingdom

2003 - 2010

Independent Research Fellow, Adelphi Reseach gGmbH and Adelphi Consult GmbH, Berlin, GmbH

2002 - 2006

Associate Researcher, Research and Resources for Sustainable Development (RIDES, NGO), Santiago, Chile

2001 - 2002Research Clerk, International Trade and Integration Division and Transport Unit, UN-ECLAC, Santiago, Chile
2000 - 2001Research Assistant, Department of Technology and Advancement, Sächsische Aufbaubank, Dresden, Germany


2005 - 2010     

Doctorate of Philosophy (Dr. phil.), Osnabrück University, Osnabrück, Germany
Thesis: International Maritime Transport Costs - A Multivariate Panel Data Analysis on the Role of
Liner Shipping Networks and Maritime Industry Structures

1995 - 2003

Diplom Geograph, Geography, Transport Planning and Informatics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

1991 - 1992High School Diploma, Alexis High School, Alexis, Illinois, United States
1985 - 1994Abitur, Marienschule der Ursulinen, Bielefeld, Germany


DOI: 10.1007/s13437-021-00250-2 

Abstract: Transparency remains an under-analyzed topic in port research, and previous research has shown that port decision-making and governance reporting are inconsistent across countries. While transparency might be imposed through legislation or voluntarily adopted, effective transparency also includes (a) an organization’s willingness to consistently communicate and make transparent information available to internal or external stakeholders and (b) the stakeholder`s expectations on the visibility and verifiability of information. This paper focuses primarily on the second of these, extending an earlier study that explored the availability of information accessible to the public and port stakeholders through a port’s most public face—its website (Brooks et al. 2020). This research examines a subset of 27 governance variables from Brooks et al. (2020), who explored 59 separate items to identify transparency practices by ports, revealing uneven levels of port transparency. The scope is to identify what different port stakeholders expect to be visible and readily available in terms of board meeting openness, board director conflict of interest, board provided information, and board reports/publications. Stakeholders also provided their perceptions of how trustworthy board reporting was perceived. The data set includes 134 usable responses from 38 countries and this paper analyzes similarities and differences across stakeholders and countries. The responses from the survey are also considered in the light of the results from Brooks et al. (2020) and the extent that ports currently make these variables visible and available. The study concludes by discussing a further research agenda towards a more transparent and thus better port industry.

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Open reference in new window "Visibility and verifiability in port governance transparency: exploring stakeholder expectations"


Abstract: Port facilities expand or are relocated from their original locations according to several factors, such as outgrowing a limited space or avoiding clashes of use with expanding cities. Previous spatial models such as the famous Anyport model imply a natural evolution in port systems which can in reality be complicated by issues of port governance and competition. The goal of this paper is to enrich the Anyport model with insights from port governance and the port life cycle model, focusing on strategies of port actors to avert a potential decline when the port reaches geographical or economic constraints. The empirical application explores the evolution over five decades of the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador's primary port and the second-busiest container port on the west coast of South America. In the 1990s and 2000s, port governance reform introduced devolution from the national level to local port authorities, the signing of terminal concessions to private operators and competition from other ports in the vicinity. In 2006 a new deep-water port, 85 km downriver and in a different governance jurisdiction, was proposed. Continuous legal and operational challenges stalled the construction of the new port, until it finally entered into operation in 2019. Despite this development, the existing Guayaquil port decided to go ahead with more channel dredging and to extend the existing container terminal concession for an additional 20 years in order to maintain its operations. Thus, rather than a simple port migration to deeper water based on specialisation of tasks between deep sea and feeder activities, what has emerged is a competitive situation for the same hinterland between old and new ports. The port life cycle model provides a more dynamic view than purely spatial models, highlighting governance conflicts between local and national levels, power dynamics between global carriers and port terminal operators, changes in intra- and inter-port competition and horizontal complexities arising from municipal and regional boundaries between existing and available port locations.

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Open reference in new window "Port system evolution in Ecuador - Migration, location splitting or specialisation?"