Essays on the relationship between terminal scale and port competition is the theme of the doctoral thesis that was concluded by PortEconomics member Vicky Kaselimi.
The research presented in this work is primarily concerned with the scale of container terminals and its ensuing relation with inter- and intra-port competition. It supports the notion that good social science is also problem driven and not only methodology driven. It proceeds to this aim by implementing modelling application and empirical testing where possible.
The instigation behind the research lies on the observation that stakeholders when engaged in concessioning procedures face dilemmas concerning terminal developments. The terminal scale under consideration is defined as the revealed “preferred” scale. While bearing in mind that no answer can be given to the question of which is the revealed “preferred” scale at such a broad and general level, the thesis focuses on terminal scale and competition and models their inter-relationship in an exploratory way. A two-fold approach is implemented using large sample statistical analysis on one hand and case study game theoretic analysis on the other hand.
The tools developed in the study are linked with port policy and management. In combination with specific terminal data, they can be used by the relevant decision makers as a guide in dealing with real problems related to issues on the configuration of terminal plots and hence achieve an effective infrastructure planning. This can prove of vital importance when market forces alone are not sufficient. The final decision lies in their hands, who depending on their objectives, specific strategy and priorities, act accordingly to satisfy the conflicting interests of the different stakeholders involved.
The succesfuly defended research was conducted at ITMMA – University of Antwerp under the supervision of PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, and was supported by a scholarship of the Greek state scholarship foundation.