Cesar Blaise Ducruet Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Cesar Blaise Ducruet

Research Director
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

Since 2017 Dr. César Ducruet, geographer, works at CNRS as Research Director. His research activity encompasses network analysis, transport & urban geography, with special interest for digital humanities and big data. His is currently leading the ERC World Seastems research on the evolution of global maritime flows since the late 19th century and has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals during his career.


Dr. César Ducruet is geographer and Research Director for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the research laboratory UMR 8504 Géographie-Cités (Sorbonne University). After being post-doctoral fellow in South Korea (KRIHS) and The Netherlands (Erasmus University), he worked as expert for various organisations (OECD, World Bank, Korea Maritime Institute, JETRO), guest lectured at several institutes (Chinese Academy of Sciences, ITMMA, HK PolyU, Ecole de Management de Normandie, NEOMA Business School, University of Catania, ENSTA Paris-Tech), and is a member of the STAR Alliance (HK), the GIS of Maritime History and Sciences (France), Chair of Regional Development for the World Transport Convention (China), and editorial board member of Journal of Transport Geography, Portus, and Mappemonde. He is currently Principal Investigator of the ERC Starting Grant "World Seastems" (2013-2019) research project analysing the evolution of global shipping networks since the late nineteenth century, and published two edited books on Maritime Networks (2015) and Shipping Data Analysis (2017) in the Routledge Studies in Transport Analysis. He has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 30 book chapters in the last 15 years or so.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    His research interests include network analysis, urban & regional development, and spatial analysis, through the looking glass of ports and shipping networks, with a special focus on Europe and Asia.

Personal Interests

    Guitar, swimming, hiking, theater/acting



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Maritime Networks - 1st Edition book cover


Transport Reviews

From hierarchy to networking : The evolution of the ’21st century Maritime Silk Road’ container shipping system

Published: Feb 25, 2018 by Transport Reviews
Authors: Wang L., Zhu Y., Ducruet C., Bunel M., Lau Y.Y.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

Container shipping gives a rise of international trade since the 1960s. Based on navigation data start from the mid-1990s to 2016, this paper empirically analyses the spatial pattern of China’s international maritime linkages along the “twenty-first-century Maritime Silk Road”. We interpret such evolutionary dynamics in terms of growth, hierarchical diffusion and networking phases.

Journal of Transport Geography

Maritime networks as systems of cities : the long-term interdependencies between global shipping flows and urban development (1890-2010)

Published: Jan 04, 2018 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Ducruet C., Cuyala S., El Hosni A.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

This article is the first-ever analysis of cities in relation to maritime transport flows from a relational, or network, perspective. Based on untapped vessel movement data covering the last 120 years, this articles sheds new light about the interdependencies at stake between urban hierarchies and port hierarchies overtime.

Chinese Geographical Science

China’s global shipping connectivity : internal and external dynamics in the contemporary era (1890–2016)

Published: Jan 03, 2018 by Chinese Geographical Science
Authors: Ducruet C., Wang L.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

China's global shipping connectivity had been somewhat overlooked as the bulk of related studies predominantly focused on the throughput volume of its own port cities. This article tackles such lacunae by providing a relational perspective based on the extraction of vessel movement archives from the Lloyd's List corpus. Two complementary analyses are proposed:long-term dynamics with all ships included (1890-2008) and medium-term dynamics focusing on container flows (1978-2016).

Cahiers Scientifiques du Transport

L’Afrique dans la logistique mondiale : une approche par les réseaux d’armateurs de lignes maritimes conteneurisées

Published: Nov 30, 2017 by Cahiers Scientifiques du Transport
Authors: Metge M., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

Les travaux sur le réseau maritime mondial montrent le poids secondaire de l’Afrique et l’influence grandissante de l’Asie dans la connectivité de ce continent, au détriment de l’Europe. Cependant, cette approche englobante tend à négliger le rôle des acteurs économiques du transport international, et notamment celui des armateurs, dans l’insertion de l’Afrique dans les flux mondiaux.

Maritime Policy and Management

Across the waves : A bibliometric analysis of container shipping research since the 1960s

Published: Apr 11, 2017 by Maritime Policy and Management
Authors: Lau Y.Y., Ducruet C., Ng A.K.Y., Fu X.
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Information Science, Research Methods

The paper investigates collaborative and semantic patterns that emerged between 1967 and 2013 about the theme of container shipping based on a corpus of 294 articles published in scholarly journals within the fields of transportation, supply chain, economics, geography, regional planning and development, and operations research. An analysis based on the co-occurrence of title words allows identifying dominant sub-themes and their evolution.

Journal of Transport Geography

Multilayer dynamics of complex spatial networks : the case of global maritime flows (1977-2008)

Published: Feb 27, 2017 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography

This article investigates the degree of overlap among the different layers of circulation composing global maritime flows in recent decades. Mobilizing several methods originating from complex networks allows us to shed new light on specialization and diversification dynamics affecting the evolution of ports and shipping.

Journal of Shipping and Trade

The changing influence of city-systems on global shipping networks : an empirical analysis

Published: Jul 20, 2016 by Journal of Shipping and Trade
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

This paper revisits the classical issue of port-city relationships by applying for the first time network analytical methods to maritime flows connecting cities of the world, over the period 1950–1990. A global matrix of interurban vessel flows was elaborated for about 600 cities using data from the Geopolis and Lloyd’s Shipping Index databases and the rigorous assignment of ports to both coastal and inland urban areas.

Journal of Economic Geography

Regions and material flows : Investigating the regional branching and industry relatedness of port traffic in a global perspective

Published: Jul 01, 2016 by Journal of Economic Geography
Authors: Ducruet C., Itoh H.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

This article proposes a quantitative analysis of the interdependencies between port specialization and regional specialization across the world. A global database is elaborated, covering about 360 port regions in both developed and developing countries. One goal is to verify how interdependent port traffic and regional characteristics are, in a context of increasingly flexible commodity and value chains.

Revue Internationale de Géomatique

Trajectoires des objets mobiles dans un espace support fixe

Published: Jun 16, 2015 by Revue Internationale de Géomatique
Authors: Buard E., Devogele T., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Research Methods

Mobile objects are moving in a portion of space. Their positions are measured in different ways: devices located on fixed locations or held by the object. We expose methods to construct and analyze trajectories of mobile objects. For that, we are using two study cases: ship and herbivore movements.

Maritime Policy and Management

The polarization of global container flows by interoceanic canals : Geographic coverage and network vulnerability

Published: Mar 18, 2015 by Maritime Policy and Management
Authors: Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

It is widely acknowledged that the two major interoceanic canals of Suez and Panama play a central role in global shipping flows. However, this role has rarely been measured with precision both in terms of the geographic coverage and network topological properties of canal-dependent flows. Based on vessel movement data for containerships, this research clarifies the weight and share of canal-dependent flows globally and at the level of world regions, routes, and ports.

Journal of Transport Geography

Regional integration and maritime connectivity across the Maghreb seaport system

Published: Feb 18, 2015 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Mohamed-Chérif F.Z., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

The Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia), which is currently responsible for no less than one-third of all African port throughputs, offers a fertile ground to test the possibility for regional integration to occur through maritime linkages despite limited trade integration and land-based transport connectivity.


Peripherality in the global container shipping network : The case of the Southern African container port system

Published: Nov 15, 2014 by Geojournal
Authors: Fraser D.R., Notteboom T.E., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

This paper aims to analyze the changing level of peripherality and remoteness of the Southern African container port system as part of the global container shipping network. The central hypothesis is that Southern Africa has moved from a remote shipping region to a more central shipping region in the global network. The methodology consists of the calculation of network measures for Southern African ports.

Journal of Transport Geography

Port geography at the crossroads with human geography : between flows and spaces

Published: Sep 07, 2014 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Ng A.K.Y., Ducruet C., Jacobs W., Monios J., Notteboom T.E., Rodrigue J.P., Slack B., Tam K.C., Wilmsmeier G.
Subjects: Geography

Port research is not a new field of interest for human geographers, evidenced by numerous conceptual models and empirical cases of port evolution and development in the literature. However, several critical questions remain unanswered, notably the exact position of port geography as a subdiscipline within human geography in the past, present and future.

Journal of Transport Geography

Transport corridors and regional balance in China : The case of coal trade and logistics

Published: Aug 27, 2014 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Wang C., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

Coal plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of China. Yet, the spatial mismatch between production centers (inland Northwest) and consumption centers (coastal region) within China fostered the emergence of dedicated coal transport corridors with limited alternatives. Serious problems of energy shortage and power rationing have already affected southeastern China. At the same time, enormous interregional coal transfers face a lack of transport capacity along the transport system.

Progress in Human Geography

The changing tides of port geography (1950-2012)

Published: Mar 07, 2014 by Progress in Human Geography
Authors: Ng A.K.Y., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Research Methods

Human geographers actively studied ports in past decades. However, the extent to which port geography constituted a specific research stream within human geography remained largely unanswered. By reviewing 399 port papers published in major geography journals, the authors critically investigated the trends and changing tides of port geography research.

Networks and Spatial Economics

Network science and spatial science : Review and outcomes of a complex relationship

Published: Dec 23, 2013 by Networks and Spatial Economics
Authors: Ducruet C., Beauguitte L.
Subjects: Geography , Information Science, Research Methods

For decades, the spatial approach to network analysis has principally focused on planar and technical networks from a classic graph theory perspective. Reviewing how complex network research has been integrated into geography and regional science reveals a high heterogeneity among spatial scientists as well as key directions for increasing their role inside multidisciplinary researches on networks.

Papers in Regional Science

Ports and the local embedding of commodity flows

Published: Dec 22, 2013 by Papers in Regional Science
Authors: Ducruet C., Itoh H., Joly O.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

Empirical evidence remains lacking about the territorial embedding of material flows. An analysis of 189 port regions in advanced economic areas (Europe, Japan, and the United States), validates a number of ideas proposed by regional science and transport geography. Core economic regions such as large urban tertiary centres concentrate most valued, diversified, and weighty traffic, while more peripheral and traditional ones tend to specialize in bulky traffic.

Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics

Cities and transport networks in shipping and logistics research

Published: Sep 07, 2013 by Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics
Authors: Ducruet C., Lugo I.
Subjects: Geography , Information Science, Research Methods

While shipping and logistics studies often describe the flows and networks on the level of firms and terminals rather than cities, urban studies pay limited attention to transport infrastructure and material flows. The renewal of network analysis based on complex systems will be discussed in this paper as a potential bridge between those two approaches. It particularly focuses on how transport and urban elements can be mutually integrated.

Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie

Regional resilience and spatial cycles : Long-term evolution of the Chinese port system (221BC-2010AD)

Published: Jun 03, 2013 by Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Authors: Wang C., Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography , Area Studies

The Chinese case provides a fertile ground for complementing existing works by a long-term perspective, given the early importance of river ports and seaports and the development irregularities caused by periods of closure and openness over time and across such a large land mass.

Journal of Transport Geography

Network diversity and maritime flows

Published: Apr 16, 2013 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Ducruet C.
Subjects: Geography

Coupled and interdependent networks constitute a relatively recent research field that has been so far little invested by port and maritime specialists. The extent to which certain ports benefit from being connected to multiple commodity flows in the maritime network has in fact been poorly addressed. A global database of merchant vessel inter-port movements that occurred in October and November 2004 allows building the respective weighted graphs.

Journal of Transport Geography

New port development and global city making : Emergence of the Shanghai-Yangshan multilayered gateway hub

Published: Aug 27, 2012 by Journal of Transport Geography
Authors: Wang C., Ducruet C.

Planned as Shanghai’s new port, Yangshan is currently expanding its roles as transhipment hub and integrated logistics/industrial center in the Asia–Pacific region. This paper examines the impact of the emergence of Yangshan on the spatial pattern of the Yangtze River Delta since the 1970s, with reference to existing port system spatial evolutionary models.

Global Networks

The worldwide maritime network of container shipping : Spatial structure and regional dynamics

Published: Mar 14, 2012 by Global Networks
Authors: Ducruet C., Notteboom T.E.
Subjects: Geography , Research Methods

In this article, we present an analysis of the global liner shipping network in 1996 and 2006, a period of rapid change in port hierarchies and liner service configurations. While we refer to literature on port system development, shipping networks, and port selection, the article is one of the only analyses of the properties of the global container shipping network.

Maritime Policy and Management

Maritime constellations : A complex network approach to shipping and ports

Published: Mar 02, 2012 by Maritime Policy and Management
Authors: Ducruet C., Zaidi F.
Subjects: Geography , Research Methods

The analysis of community structures is one major research field in the science of networks. This exercise is often biased by strong hierarchical configurations as it is the case in container shipping. After reviewing the multiple definitions of port systems, this paper applies a topological decomposition method to worldwide inter-port maritime links.