Extended port business ecosystems to attract circular activities

Making insights actionable

Ports with ‘extended port business ecosystems’ are well positioned to attract circular activities

Port Management Bodies (PMBs) may benefit from making ‘spatial reservations’ for circular economy clusters. In this way, circular activities can be located next to each other, with benefits due to synergies between these companies.


Many ports have developed into extended port business ecosystems with a lot of logistics and manufacturing activities, including activities such as oil refining, steel production and food processing. PMBs of such ports aim to transition their business ecosystems away from ‘linear activities’ (such as oil refining) to circular activities, for sustainability reasons as well as from a business perspective.

Insights summarized

Circular economy activities aiming at recycling or upcycling end-of-life (EOL) materials often fit in very well in port business ecosystems, because of the efficient inbound and outbound logistics. Ports that develop circular activities, synergies will emerge between the different activities in the port area. For instance, collection and distribution of EOL cooking oil residues, provides the resources for producing biofuels, which can be used as more alternative ship fuels.