The awarding of terminals in seaports are the theme of the latest issue of the Maritime Policy and Management. The issue is co-edited by PortEconomics co-directors Theo Notteboom, and Thanos Pallis, in collaboration with Dr. Sheila Farrell.
In many countries around the world, governments and public port authorities have retreated from port operations in the belief that enterprise-based port services and operations would allow for greater flexibility and efficiency in the market (through more competition) and a better response to consumers’ demands. In this new environment, the awarding of port terminals to private operators has become common practice. This can takes different forms ranging from management contracts/leases to BOT arrangements, with each type having specific modalities with regard to the spread of investments and of risks. In particular, concession policy has become a powerful governance tool to port managers. Through concession policy, port authorities can retain some control on the organization and structure of the supply side of the port market. The issue of terminal awarding processes has not received a lot of attention in academic circles, while it has become a key issue in port governance.
This special issue adds value to the existing knowledged by deepening and broadening the discussion on the award of terminals to private terminal operators. In particular it contains seven port studies address key issues in terminal awarding processes combining theoretical insights with empirical case studies:
- The ownership and management structure of container terminal concessions, by Sheila Farrell;
- Concession of the Piraeus container terminal: turbulent times and the quest for competitiveness, by Harilaos N. Psaraftis & PortEconomics co-director Thanos Pallis;
- Managing port concessions: evidence from Italy, by PortEconomics associate member Francesco Parola along with Alessio Tei & Claudio Ferrari;
- Awarding of Port PPP contracts: the added value of a competitive dialogue procedure, by Hidde Siemonsma, Wouter Van Nus & Patrick Uyttendaele;
- A new approach to granting terminal concessions: the case of the Rotterdam World Gateway terminal, by PortEconomics co-director Peter W. De Langen, along with Roy Van Den Berg & Aernoud Willeumier
- A new lease charging system for Busan container terminals: a historical case study, by Paul T.-W. Lee & Tsung-Chen Lee; and
- Current practices in European ports on the awarding of seaport terminals to private operators: towards an industry good practice guide, by PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, the PortEconomics associate member Patrick Verhoeven & Martina Fontanet
- The guest editorial Terminal concessions in seaports revisited by Theo Notteboom, Thanos Pallis & Sheila Farrell
These port studies have been completed through discussions in the working group on concessions of the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN), that has put the concession issue on the research agenda of maritime economists.