Port co-operation : motives, forms and results
Faculty of Applied Economics
S.l. , 2012
Proceedings of the IAME 2012 Conference, International Association of Maritime Economists, 6-8 September, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan
University of Antwerp
During the last decade, various actors in maritime logistics and supply chains have started one or another form of co-operation. The motives are various: counterbalance rising market power from other chain actors, economies of scale in investment or operations, learning effects, etc. The forms can be diverse either: from very weak forms of co-operation, like project-specific contractual agreements, over alliances, to complete mergers or acquisitions. The phenomenon till recently was not common among or with port authorities, but started emerging. Port authorities started to engage for instance in hinterland transport operation, hinterland terminal operation, financial stakeholding in inland terminals and joint marketing with other seaport authorities. It is particularly in the latter two forms of co-operation that this paper focuses on. They are here called vertical respectively horizontal co-operation. In this paper, the authors are particularly interested into the form that such co-operation typically takes, the fields where it occurs, and the benefits that co-operation gives. The three questions are inter-related: particular forms of co-operation will lead to other benefits than other forms of co-operation. The paper does not aim at providing a quantification of such costs and benefits in concrete cases, but rather supplies a framework of generic co-operation types and effects. To that purpose, a review is made of existing literature on co-operation, both in general and applied to seaports. That literature is either scientific or business-oriented. It turns out that most forms of co-operation are rather operational. Related to that, it can also be observed that co-operation with a limited number of players is more frequent and leads to more intense co-operation than when multiple players are involved.