Road pricing impact on port competitiveness : a port of Antwerp case study
Faculty of Applied Economics
Proceedings of the Econship Conference 2010, Lisbon 22-24 June 2011
University of Antwerp
Port competition is an important topic in transport economics, but also more in general in policy-making. This is due not only to the large volumes of goods involved in port throughput a direct measure of a ports competitive strength but also to derived effects in terms of employment and investment. In that respect, it is observed that hinterland connections get all the more important. It is seen that hinterland capacity is often problematic, and that distinct measures are proposed by policy-makers at various levels to make hinterland transport more sustainable. In particular, road pricing, as a way of internalizing various external effects, could have an impact on the user costs associated to reaching that hinterland, and therefore also on the path that goods will follow and on port competitiveness. This paper tries to gain insight in the extent to which road pricing could harm or strengthen a ports competitiveness, by looking at the cost structures associated to different elements in the chain. The results are novel from a scientific point of view, and are also very relevant to business practioners who use ports, and to policy-makers, who might want to strengthen the competitive position of ports on their territory, and/or to make sure that hinterland transport enrolls in an equilibrated way over modes and network axes.