Triggered by the growing and fluctuating freight volumes arriving in European seaports, peaks and bottlenecks are caused in hinterland terminals such as inland ports. Measures to increase the performance of inland ports previously focused on technological advancements such as infrastructure and ICT. However, recent developments show an increased awareness of human resources. Inland ports constitute a ‘socio-technical’ system since port performance is equally dependent on technological equipment as on skilled employees. However, the importance of human resources is not yet fully recognized in the inland port sector. The aim of this paper is to present recommendations for human resources development in inland ports. The Danube region is the geographic scope of the study including Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. A survey completed by eleven inland port authorities (employing 1,487 staff members in total) is presented. Additionally, three transnational expert rounds are held to develop so-called “personas”. These personas describe requirements and challenges for different types of future port employees. Results of the survey and the transnational expert rounds are used to better assess the current and future needs concerning human resources development in inland ports and to derive recommendations. Results suggest that the main challenge for Danube inland ports is the risk of staff shortages due to the high number of old employees. In addition, the inland port sector lacks training offers for port employees.
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- Danube region
- Human resources development
- Inland ports