In this paper, a semi-structured interview approach is used to assess governance and institutionalist practices promoted among successful port systems worldwide, in Latin American ports. The aim is to provide recommendations that would allow Latin American ports to reach high performance scores through governance practices, and face the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, fostering a more resilient port ecosystem. A three-stage methodological framework, composed of six steps, is proposed. In the first stage, semi-structured interviews were carried out, with a total of 178 participants, to assess the state of implementation of governance practices in 24 Latin American ports. These practices were identified from a literature review and are promoted among successful port systems worldwide. In a second stage, the relationship between governance practices in ports and their performance was analyzed, aiming to identify those governance and institutionalist strategies that are most extensively used by the best performing ports. Finally, in a third stage, we provide recommendations that would allow Latin American ports to reach high performance scores through improved governance practices. The results indicate that digitalization and coordination among the stakeholders of the port logistics community are two of the most cited governance practices in the best performing Latin American ports. This paper contributes to the theory of port governance in Latin America, by empirically relating and identifying those governance practices which contribute to port performance.
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The authors would like to thank the “Digital and Collaborative Network of Ports” (D&CP Network) promoted by the Economic Latin American and Caribbean System (SELA) and the Development Bank of Latin America, CAF. The empirical work presented in this paper has been developed during the execution of this program. The second author is also grateful for the research funding provided under the FONDECYT Project 1210735.
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