dcs advisory Experts team

inland ports

Daniel Dean

Vienna, Austria

Lloyd Richardson

Washington NC, USA

Chris Hanson

Lewes DE, USA

Meet Our Inland Ports Infrastructure Experts Team!

transportation infrastructure

Inland Ports/Multi-modal/Transshipment Facilities


SECTORS covered

As global trade has grown exponentially over the previous two decades, and combined with the recent consumer trend toward online retail shopping and consumer-direct deliveries, freight and cargo distribution networks in many markets have undergone profound transformations.  Shipping and logistics companies have, in many cases, transformed their supply and delivery networks to accommodate larger volumes of containerized goods arriving via marine ports and from domestic production facilities and then transferred to by rail, truck or barge to distribution hubs (e.g. "inland ports") for forwarding.  Given the rise in volumes in containerized freight, from ports, it may not be possible (due to constrained space) or economically feasible (due to high costs) for shipping or logistics companies to process and transship cargoes on port properties.  Therefore, in many cases containerized freight arriving at marine ports may be immediately forwarded by barge, train or truck to regional inland ports for further processing and transshipments.  At these inland port facilities, the processing and regional transshipment and forwarding of freight can take place under favorable layout and cost conditions.  Inland port facilities typically benefit from significantly more operational space (land area) availability for a more efficient operational layout and configuration; property, labor and drayage cost savings; and greater accessibility to on-site or proximate warehousing facilities.  As freight volumes have constrained available space and demand has also driven up urban industrial property values near many seaport properties, development of regional inland ports in proximity to large consumer markets has become an increasingly attractive alternative.  The most efficient multi-modal inland ports take advantage of confluence of inland waterways, rail and road (and perhaps airport) networks which facilitate the efficient transshipment and forwarding of freight (or warehousing, if necessary) to regional and local market destinations.

In terms of outbound cargo and commodities, inland ports also functioned historically as "aggregator" facilities, where stores of local industrial and agricultural production, natural resources and bulk commodities could be stored until sufficient quantities were aggregated to allow shipment to distant markets by barge, railway or truck.

DCS experts cover all facets of the inland port sector.  We assist both public and private sector clients in evaluating, planning, financing, developing, constructing, operating and managing all inland port, multi-modal terminal, transshipment warehousing facilities.  In most cases, these types of facilities are privately owned and operated.  However, in other situations such facilities may be owned by governmental entities and leased to private commercial tenants.  In addition, we can also bring our global expertise and integrated advisory services ranging from maritime ports, railways, roadways, airports, real estate (warehousing & logistical) sector coverage.  We can also assist our public sector clients with integrated regional transportation system planning and application of innovative rail and truck access infrastructure projects and use of intelligent transportation systems.

DCS experts can assist our public and private sector clients in evaluating, planning, financing, developing, constructing, operating and managing inland port, multi-modal and transshipment projects and assets.  We have a great deal of experience with traditional public-sector project procurement models, including design-build (or engineering procurement and construction), design-build-finance, design-build-operate-maintain, design-build-finance-operate-maintain and long-term port operations & maintenance contracting models.  Our expertise in the inland ports sector includes the full spectrum of contractual/ownership models ranging from conventional public sector procurement to privatizations and all variations of public-private partnership models.  Complementing our inland ports sector focus, we also have experience advising on regional multi-modal transportation planning and coordination (inland ports, marine ports, road, rail, pipeline) and real estate (warehousing and logistical properties) and related multiple-access infrastructure.

Supplementing our own extensive skill sets, DCS experts also maintain relationships with related inland ports sector external consultants and participants including: both international and local legal advisors; technical, engineering and environmental/social advisors, economic/market consultants; contractors, vendors and technology providers; strategic and financial equity sponsors; lenders (including commercial lendersinternational/development financial institutions (IFIs/DFIs), Export Credit Agencies and Export-Import Banks (ECA/Ex-IMs), institutional lenders, bond funds and investment banks) and credit rating agencies (if applicable).  We are always prepared and highly experienced in taking on a lead transaction advisory or project/program management role where we coordinate and manage (in many cases, procure and retain via subcontract) various technical, legal, commercial, tax and other consultants required for the project or transaction.  On behalf of our clients we are also prepared and accustomed to leading and concluding negotiations with diverse stakeholders such as shipping and logistics companies and port tenants, governmental/public sector or equity sponsors/concessionaires, developers, investors, contractors and venders, lenders, rating agencies and regulators, as may be relevant for a given project.

In the inland ports sector, we don't view inland port facilities as simply a facility for the loading and unloading cargo and for the movement of vehicles and containers.  Inland ports are valuable regional economic gateway assets, with many dimensions, including transportation, economic development, real estate development, energy and technology elements.  Accordingly, we take a multi-dimensional approach to advising our inland ports sector clients.  In most client cases, there will be a significant nexus between inland port infrastructure facilities and other relevant sectors that we specialize in, such as technology (cargo security scanners, vehicle entry access and tolling systems, transponder systems, port logistics management systems, IoT, blockchain, AI), transportation (interconnected multimodal networks: inland ports, roads, parking facilities, railairports, marine ports and pipelines); real estate (warehousing & logistical properties, development rights); energy & utilities (solar and wind renewable energy installations); E&C (contractors) and heavy industries (heavy equipment, shipbuilding industries and commodities suppliers); logistics, cargo & freight industries and others, as relevant.  We are prepared to bring our complementary expertise in these other sectors to our inland ports sector clients, as their specific project may benefit.  There may be many collaborative partnership opportunities between diverse companies and public and private service providers, who may also have synergistic objectives and opportunities related to inland ports infrastructure assets and systems.  We can help our clients expand the horizons of their project and analyze and understand synergistic economic and commercial impacts related to inland ports infrastructure assets and services.  This will also help forge potential new innovative partnerships with both private and public sector parties, where significant added-value can be realized.  

Please click on the below links to learn more about the specific services related to the inland ports infrastructure segment that DCS experts can offer:​

DCS focuses on providing the above services in the inland ports infrastructure segment to the following categories of clients: