Port activities, hinterland congestion, and optimal government policies: the role of vertical integration in logistic operations
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerpen :UA, 2010
Research paper / UA, Faculty of Applied Economics ; 2010:12
University of Antwerp
We study the implications of vertical integration in logistics and transport operations for welfare-optimal port access charges and hinterland congestion tolls. We show that, first, vertical integration of terminal operators and transport firms does not affect the optimal congestion toll rule for the hinterland, but it does imply higher optimal port access charges. Second, the government not only has an incentive to promote competition between downstream firms, it may also be beneficial to approve of vertical mergers in the logistic chain. Third, the governments failure to respond to changes in industry market structure may have large welfare effects. Fourth, both under separation and integration, optimal port fees may imply subsidies if downstream firms enjoy a high degree of market power.