The problem of access arises in industries where inputs from monopolistic and competitive markets are complementarily needed to provide a service. In these circumstances, the firm controlling the monopolistic segment has incentives to deter competition in the competitive segments (markets) to recover profits foregone by regulation (Paredes, 1997). In the port industry, for example, a number of services need to be jointly provided to complete the logistics chain: pilotage, towage, stevedoring, storage, etc. Without any of these, cargo cannot be delivered. In ports where a terminal constitutes a natural monopoly, an integrated terminal operator has incentives to deter competition in the markets of services that are necessary to complete the logistics chain, since this would allow him to charge disproportionate prices and extract monopolistic rents. This strategy can be implemented by preferential treatment to itself or sister companies, or by restricting competitors access to the terminal. To avoid such situations from occurring, regulators have two options. They can either (i) forbid integration between terminal operators and carriers or, (ii) establish a framework under which all service providers are allowed to access and use the terminal under reasonable conditions. As suggested by Vickers (1995), the first option (vertical separation) may create non-trivial transaction costs that result in higher prices for the consumers, for which the second option (the implementation of access policies) constitutes a more desirable policy. However, formulating access policies is not an easy task. If access conditions are too high, a limited number of entrants will use the terminal, allowing providers to obtain economic rents. If conditions are too relaxed, an excess of entry may occur, thus reducing the terminal operator’s incentives to adequately maintain and expand the infrastructure (Laffont and Tirole 1994). The objective of this thesis is to analyze the characteristics of access policies implemented in the telecommunications, electricity supply, natural gas and railways industries, and to use the lessons learned from these experiences to propose a model suitable for the port industry.

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Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) Prof.dr. S.L. van de Velde R. Dekker J.A.E.E. van Nunen
H. Haralambides (Hercules)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Defilippi, E. (2010, June 30). Access Regulation for Naturally Monopolistic Port Terminals: Lessons from Regulated Network Industries (No. EPS-2010-204-LIS). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Retrieved from