This article examines the problem of the competition or cooperation of the container terminals in the North Adriatic hub and spoke system with respect to the leadership position of the ship owners, which defines the flow of containers. The problem is defined as a two-stage game where the shipping companies act as leaders and the container terminals are the followers. The stages of the game are defined as a multi-objective optimization problem on a graph. The proposed simulations and the results obtained could be a first step in defining a sustainable method of collabora-tion in the hub and spoke system between the ports and the ship owners. The purpose of the article is also to present a systematic examination of a hub and spoke port network based on a competition–cooperation model. The model could also be used by the shipping companies or container terminals to find an optimal strategy in the game and validate their business decisions.
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