Title: The economic competitiveness of short sea shipping: an empirical assessment for Spanish ports

Authors: Ancor Suárez-Alemán; Javier Campos; Juan Luis Jiménez

Addresses: Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Turismo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain ' Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Turismo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain ' Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Turismo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Abstract: This paper empirically studies the competitiveness of selected Short Sea Shipping (SSS) corridors by comparing the generalised costs of different alternatives to move cargo from Spain to several European destinations either by road or by using a SSS multimodal corridor. In the context of fair and efficient intermodal competition promoted by European Union (EU) policies, our results show that, apart from the internalisation of the external costs and the existence of bottlenecks in transit times, the freight rates should be also considered as a critical factor in explaining why a particular SSS corridor is more/less competitive than its road alternative. For that reason, we perform an econometric analysis to determine the main drivers of maritime prices in several SSS routes and quantify to what extent the instruments promoted by EU maritime policies - higher frequencies, fiercer competition or direct subsidies - favour real price reductions on them.

Keywords: short sea shipping; SSS; transport generalised cost; Spain; transport logistics; multimodal corridors; multimodal transport; economic competitiveness; road transport; external costs; bottlenecks; transit times; freight rates; econometrics; European Union; EU maritime policies; price reduction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2015.065894

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2015 Vol.7 No.1, pp.42 - 67

Available online: 16 Nov 2014 *

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