Journal of Transport Geography
Two contrasting approaches to the provision of maritime services are frequently presented: one based on direct port to port services, the other characterised by a hub and spoke network. We demonstrate there is no contradiction between these two models, that in fact they are complementary. Integrating direct services with a hub structure is necessary for assuring a wider geographical coverage. The complementarity is explained by analysing the world’s largest container shipping line, Maersk, which over the last 30 years has created a global shipping network.