This chapter assesses the role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in ports and shipping. Insights from regulatory economics are used to identify industry characteristics under which the SOE model is expected to be effective. With the use of these insights, characteristics of ports, terminals and shipping services that may lead to the establishment of SOEs are identified. The empirical overview of SOEs in shipping and ports shows a rather large use of SOEs, especially in container terminal operations and port development. The use of SOEs particularly in port development can be well understood with insights from regulatory economics. The majority of SOEs in ports, terminals and shipping are active internationally. This raises important additional research questions, most importantly regarding the strategic rationale of SOE internationalization and the role of geopolitical considerations in international activities.
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