Keynote Speakers


Dr Jan Hoffmann

Chief of Trade Facilitation Section
Trade Logistics Branch

Jan joined UNCTAD in 2003, currently working as Chief of the organization's Trade Facilitation Section. He is in charge of various multilateral trade facilitation programmes, as well as regional and national projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He created and co-edits the quarterly “Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter”, is co-author and coordinator of the annual “Review of Maritime Transport”, initiated the UNCTAD “Maritime Country Profiles”, and he created and produces the annual “Liner Shipping Connectivity Index”.

Previously, he spent six years with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago de Chile, and two years with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London and Santiago. Prior to this, he held part time positions as assistant professor, import-export agent, seafarer, translator and consultant. For eight years, he also worked part time for the family shipping business “Hoffmann Shipping”, which was registered in St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda.

Jan has studied in Germany, United Kingdom and Spain, and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hamburg. His work has resulted in numerous UN and peer reviewed publications, lectures and technical missions, the ECLAC International Transport Data Base, and various electronic newsletters. Jan is member of the advisory and editorial boards of IJSTL, INCU, JST, MEL and MPM, and the Committee of the Propeller Club of Geneva. In 2014, Jan was elected president of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME).
Global Liner Shipping Network
Since 2004, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been monitoring the position of countries in the global liner shipping network. The presentation will cover the major trends in liner shipping connectivity from 2004 to 2016, including levels of competition, vessel deployment and ship sizes. On the one hand, connectivity is improved in terms of container carrying capacity deployment and economies of scale. On the other hand, cost savings achieved by carriers may not always be passed on to shippers as in some markets, the level of competition has been declining and ports have to cope with ever larger ships.

Professor André de Palma

Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan
Université Paris Saclay

André de Palma holds a PhD in Physics (1981), under the supervision of Nobel Prize Y. Prigogine, (1981, Free University of Brussels), and a PhD in Economics (1988, University of Bourgogne). He is specialized in Transportation and Urban Economics, Industrial Organization, Decision theory (discrete choice models). With S. Anderson and J.-F. Thisse, he is one of the fathers of the “new industrial organization”.

He has introduced dynamic models in Transportation with R. Arnott, R. Lindsey and M. Ben-Akiva, and developed, with Yurii Nesterov, a fully dynamic congestion software: METROPOLIS.

André de Palma has been teaching and conducting research at The Free University of Brussels, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Northwestern University, University of Geneva, University of Cergy-Pontoise, and Ecole Polytechnique. He is currently teaching at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan / University Paris-Saclay, in Paris. He has published more than 250 articles (including in Econometrica, American Economic Review, RAND, Review of Economics Studies, Transportation Science, Transportation Research and Journal of Public Economics), and 7 books. He belongs to the top 1% of economists’ world-wide and is ranked #3 in Transportation Economics, according to RePEc.

With Nathalie Picard, he has developed two websites to study experimentally risk attitude. Together, they have developed software, based on advanced econometric methods, marketed by RiskDesign and used by major banks and insurance companies.

He is a founding member of ITEA (International Transport Economic Association), and in the editorial board on several international journals.
The Grand Paris Express Project: Theoretical and Practical Issues
The Grand Paris Express project is a network composed of automatic metro lines with a total length of 200 kilometers. The main objectives of the projectare job creation, as well as social and economic development for the Paris region. The Société du Grand Paris has set up a scientific committee and developed several studies to better understand the impact of this 30 billion infrastructure project. The questions to investigate include: What are the impact of the project on firm location and relocation of firms? What are the economic and social benefits? What are the impacts of road congestion, travel time reliability, public transport congestion, accessibility or urban sprawl?

Professor de Palma will describe in detail some of the specific estimation procedures for the residential location models and the mode choice models. He will also present the impacts of the Grand Paris Express, putting into perspective some results obtained so far. The approach used is unique, since it combines various approaches, including estimation, partial equilibrium and general equilibrium.

Mr Zhehui Zhang

Chief Engineer and Associate Research Scientist
Logistics Research Center
Waterborne Research Institute (WTI)
Ministry of Transportation (MoT), P.R.C.

Mr Zhehui Zhang is the Chief Engineer and Associate Research Scientist in the Logistics Research Center, Waterborne Research Institute (WTI), Ministry of Transportation (MoT), P.R.C. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in International Shipping Management and Master’s Degree in Transportation Planning and Management, both from the College of Transportation Management, Dalian Maritime University. His main research areas are comprehensive logistics management, port logistics and multimodal transportation.

He has led or participated in more than 60 research projects at various levels, including MoT, State Development and Reform Commission, provincial and municipal government, and industries. He has also published 18 academic papers, and received many awards from difference sources, such as the Chinese Navigation Technology Award, Technology Award from the China Port Association, and the Excellent Waterborne Consulting Project Award of the China Waterborne Construction Industry Association. The major projects that he has led or involved include “Policy research on promoting multimodal container transportation”, “Policy research on promoting the transformation and upgrading of Chinese port industry”, “Research on international shipping policy in China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone”, “Policy analysis on enhancing the development of the international shipping center in Shanghai”, “Specific measures on how waterborne transportation can serve the three major national strategies”, “Planning for the Yangtze River shipping logistics center at Nanjing”, and “Research on developing the Ningbo port as a key modern port logistics center”, provided policy support to the MoT, State Development and Reforming Commission, and local government, and obtained remarkable economic and social benefits.
Waterborne Service to the Three Major National Strategies
The three major national strategies are “Beijing, Tianjing and Hebei Province economic development zone”, “Yangtze River Basin economic development” and “One Belt One Road initiative”. It incorporates the macro-economic development at three different levels: city-cluster level, national and international levels. The purpose of these three strategies are to build a full-scale middle income society, adjust industry structure and transform the way production, setup the driving force for the industry to “go abroad”, so as to form a new regional development paradigm that is inter-connected, inter-dependent, and include eastern, central and western part of China. Mr Zhang will introduce these three major national strategies, their associated logistics system development, their requirements on the development of waterborne transportation system, and what waterborne transportation can do to support these three major national strategies. The focus of this introduction will be on the current status and problems of container transportation system, including inland waterway, multimodal rail, port and maritime transportation system associate with the OBOR initiatives.
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