Question Ada Finance & Economics

How are seaports' forelands classified?

I want to know about the classification of seaport's foreland.

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The foreland of a seaport is the seaward side of a port (Rodrigue, 2016). The foreland can be defined as the “land area which lies on the seaward side of a port, beyond maritime space, and with which the port is connected by ocean carriers” (Hoyle, 2012, p.219). The foreland is a continuation of the hinterland, which is the landside of the seaport, with the port itself acting as a node joining the two together.

The term foreland is not as widely utilised as the hinterland, with Song and Panayides (2012) arguing the foreland is merely a continuation of the hinterland. Just as there are different types of hinterland, it may also be argued there are differing types of foreland, mirroring their landside counterpart, although universally recognised categories have not been recognised (Rodrigue, 2016).

The traditional foreland is seen as the marine side of the port from which goods originate, or to which goods travel (Rodrigue, 2016). For example, the forelands of Dover will include Calais, and the foreland of Harwich may include the Hook of Holland. However, these traditional forelands can be seen as varying based on the type of goods that are being imported or exported. Therefore, different forelands exist for the same port, based on cargo.

Regionalisation is also impacting on the type and reach of a foreland. Increased cooperation between ports and the development of hubs has created the ability for a port to serve an extended foreland through the additional links created (Rodrigue, 2016). With the ability to extend forelands, there is a greater ability for ports to compete, and the competition margin to the foreland is expanded gouging into the traditional geographically constrained foreland. Therefore, the concept of the foreland is expanding and becoming more integrated with the hinterland.


Hoyle, B.S., 2012. Seaports and Development: The Experience of Kenya and Tanzania. Abingdon: Routledge.

Rodrigue, J., 2016. The Geography of Transport Systems. [online] Hofstra University. Available at: .

Song, D., and Panayides, P., 2012. Maritime Logistics: A Complete Guide to Effective Shipping and Port Management. London: Kogan Page.