Edited by Chris Nash
The complexity of current port pricing schemes is striking. When calling at a port, ship operators are commonly presented with a detailed menu of services. Prices reflect the diversity that exists in terms of the kind of services and service standards offered, as well as the port entities or operators offering them, and whether the supplier is a private firm or a public infrastructure provider. The result is an opaque price structure that complicates ship operators’ and cargo owners’ port choice and hence softens port competition (and competition among container lines). Such multi-pricing structures reflect the fact that ports are complex service centres offering a considerable range of service products. The associated costs are usually arranged in three categories: port-calling costs, terminal-handling costs and concession pricing. By port-calling costs, we mean costs of all services offered to the vessel, ranging from access to quay or terminal, to pilotage, to the supply of water and bunkering, i.e. they encompass all ship-handling costs.
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