Dr. Brooks is an internationally recognized researcher in transportation management and policy, international marketing, and international strategic management. She has acted as a policy advisor to governments in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia and consulted widely in the transportation industry. Current research work focuses in two broad areas—port governance and performance and short sea shipping and cabotage.
Port Performance and Port Governance Reform
In 2016-17, Drs. Brooks, Kevin Cullinane and Thanos Pallis co-edited a volume Revisiting Port Governance and Port Reform: A Multi-Country Examination for Elsevier’s Research in Transportation Business and Management. The volume contained 25 country studies on experiences with port reform, and focus on lessons learned from efforts to attract new business through governance reform or address competition in the industry through deregulation or privatization of the sector. Please see the Publications page for connections to this work. In addition to this work, there has been solo work since the early 1990s on port reform in Canada feeding into a submission to Canada’s 2018 Port Modernization Review and work with Sheila Farrell on assessing Richard O. Goss’ principles for port policy. (See the publications page for this work.)
The last meeting of the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN) was held in Kyoto Japan on June 26, 2017. In 2016, the chair of the PPRN was handed over from founder Mary R. Brooks to Gordon Wilmsmeier. The new website has been established and the 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 presentations are available for download there. The next meeting will be in June 2019, just before the IAME meeting in Athens Greece.
I believe we now understand how a user-orientation can help ports in continuous improvement efforts and have from 2009 to 2014 conducted several studies (in Canada and the U.S.), developing a final tool SEAPort (Service Effectiveness Assessment for PORT managers) to assist ports with making improvements in their relationships with customers and users. The SEAPORT tool was available for North American ports in 2014 but results are proprietary to participating ports and not publicly available. Contact Jean Godwin at AAPA if you are interested in using it in your port in future. Jean’s e-mail: email@example.com
Five studies have resulted from the data collected and all have been published. Links have been posted on the publications page. The 2012 public report for the AAPA is available for download by clicking here: AAPA Report Final.
Dr. Brooks and Thanos Pallis also co-edited a volume on Port Performance and Strategy for Elsevier’s Research in Transportation Business and Management (see publications), released in October 2013.
Short Sea Shipping and Cabotage Policy
In an effort to consolidate the lessons learned to date about short sea shipping, where and under what conditions it works, Jim Frost and Mary R. Brooks have consolidated lessons learned from a large number of studies into a book chapter about short sea shipping published in the The Routledge Handbook of Transport Economics as Chapter 20: “Short Sea Shipping and Ferries”. A link to the publisher is available on the publications page.
Research with UN ECLAC colleagues has looked at the development of short sea shipping in South America, and specifically Chile. The first project looked at the role of regulation in inhibiting short sea development and was published in Ocean Yearbook volume 28 in 2014. The second study of two corridors and their promise for development of short sea services was completed in the fall of 2016 and has been published in Transportation Research Record. It was presented January 11 at the Transportation Research Board in session 816. It recommends an agenda for future stated preference research as was done in Australia (see below). Please visit the Seminars and Webinars page for a link to the presentation and the publications page for a link to the article.
Based on earlier Australian research, a paper on The Changing Regulation of Coastal Shipping in Australia was presented at the IAME conference in Taipei, Taiwan, 6 September 2012 and was published in the first issue of 2014 of Ocean Development and International Law in January 2014; the DOI: 10.1080/00908320.2014.867191. A chapter on coastal shipping permits and cabotage regulation was also published in a book honouring Edgar Gold (see publications tab). In addition, this research was used in a seminar on short sea shipping and regulation in Puerto Montt, Chile on 24 August 2012 (see Seminars and Webinars tab).
Continuing the theme of short distance shipping, from January to May 2010, Professor Brooks was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney’s Institute for Transportation and Logistics Studies (ITLS). During this time, research on Australia’s coastal shipping industry was begun and four publications have resulted from the time there. The paper with Helen Bendall, Short Sea Shipping: Lessons For or From Australia? was presented at the International Association of Maritime Economists Annual Conference in Lisbon in July, and was the winner of the Prize for the Best Paper on Short Sea Shipping, awarded by The Blue MBA, Copenhagen Business School. It is available as Working Paper 12 in 2010 from ITLS. The research was published in the 3rd issue of 2011 of the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics. The followup research on mode choice for Australian freight shippers has now been analyzed and is available as Working Paper 20 in 2011 from ITLS. It won the Best Paper prize at the IAME 2011 conference in Santiago Chile and the prestigious Korea Association of Maritime Industry Prize in 2012. It was published in Maritime Economics and Logistics, volume 3 of 2012.
After a long hiatus from research into shipping and cabotage, Dr. Brooks was pleased to be invited to participate in the International Transport Forum 2009 organized by the Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Leipzig Germany May 26-29. The conference theme was on Transport for a Global Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in a Downturn; she completed a research paper for the conference Liberalization in Maritime Transport, and presented it in Workshop 1.
In late 2008, Dr. Brooks assisted CPCS Transcom on the Transport Canada contract Study on Potential Hub-and-Spoke Container Trans-shipment Operations in Eastern Canada for Marine Movements of Freights (Short Sea Shipping). The report was published in December as TP14876E by Transport Canada.
Links to earlier research on short sea shipping and cabotage in Canada are available upon request.
Dr. Brooks has published more than 85 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has authored or edited more than 25 books, technical reports and monographs, in addition to a software package in the international marketing/distribution field and seven widely used business cases. From 2010 to the end of 2016, she was one of two founding Editors of Research in Transportation Business and Management, and from 2003-2006 served as a Co-editor of Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences.
Research support was provided to the Predictive Modeling Module of the Dalhousie Marine PIRACY (Policy Development and Interdisciplinary Research for Actions on Coastal Communities, Youth and Seafarers) Project (with Ron Pelot) and this was completed in July of 2013. The technical report on this component was published as Technical Report #10 and is available on the Publications page.
According to Google Scholar and other research tracking databases, Dr. Brooks is best known for the following: a 2000 solo publication Sea Change in Liner Shipping: Regulation and Managerial Decision-Making in a Global Industry, published by Pergamon Press; a 2004 solo open access publication on port governance structures, her 2007 publication with Kevin Cullinane Devolution, Port Governance and Port Performance, published by Elsevier in the Research in Transport Economics series; and one of her earliest publications (1982) on the export performance of Atlantic Canadian companies (no longer available).