|Cooperation between seaports concerning hinterland transport|
Hintjens, J. (2019). Cooperation between seaports concerning hinterland transport. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculty of Economics and Business: Antwerpen. ISBN 978-90-5728-6346. 196 pp.
Seaports are, on the one hand, crucial links in the global supply network. As such, they are important sources of added value, employment and welfare. But on the other hand, they need big investments, often made with public money, and they are places where external costs are generated that are not appreciated by the communities of which they are part. Society demands from ports that in return for this ‘licence-to-operate’ the ports operate as efficiently as possible. More and more voices demand that through cooperation, this efficiency is improved, and the external costs diminished. Others believe that independence and competition is the best guarantee to make ports as efficient as possible. This thesis studies the possibilities cooperation between competing seaports can offer with a focus on port authorities and how they can cooperate in extending the hinterland. The viewpoint is that of society, to allow the benefits of all stakeholders to be considered. A conceptual model, based on societal cost benefit analysis, is developed where the welfare effects of different cooperation strategies are analysed. More in detail, the conceptual model focusses on the social costs and benefits of combining hinterland road cargo flows of cooperating ports into a bundled transport mode, thus lowering direct and external costs and increasing the market share of the cooperating ports. This is further developed into a empiricalized cost model that combines the EU hinterland at NUTS2 level with the road cargo flows of the 104 core TEN-T ports, concluding with a tool that enables the calculation of the direct cost benefits, the effect on the value of time and the potential external cost savings of any cooperation between the 104 core ports. The model is applied to three cooperation case scenarios. The first one consists of a bundling of the road cargo flows of the ports of the recently created North Sea Port towards the NUTS2 region of Düsseldorf. The second case concerns the bundling of the flows of the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp towards the region surrounding Cracow. The last case calculates the effect of the modal shift facilitated by the cooperation of the four Polish ports towards their main hinterland region. From this possible cooperation strategies are suggested for the different port actors.