Clusters have been discussed in logistics and maritime circles for many years. We don’t understand fully the dynamics of clusters, or what leads to their formation. some researchers are starting to look at it. This article by Ryan Donohue, Joseph Parilla and Brad McDearman appeared in Brookings news. They have written a study that substantiates their conclusions.
It’s not easy to get a cluster growing, nor is it easy for a region to support it once it gets started. One feature of this study is five case studies of well-known clusters. There are many others of course. I’ve posted a link to the study pdf below.