To cope with an intense and competitive environment, intermodal freight transport operators have increasingly adopted business practices -like horizontal and vertical business integration-which aim to reduce the operational costs, increase the profit margins, and improve their competitive position in the market. These strategies and business practices could potentially affect the competition level in the IFT market by increasing the market concentration. The impact can be on the separate submarkets (e.g., transshipment market or main-haulage market) or the whole market for IFT services at the network level. To investigate the impact of these business practices on the market structure of IFT networks, we present a model to analyze the market structure of IFT submarkets and extend the results to the network level. Using this multi-level market analysis model, we can evaluate the decisions made by firms and the market outcomes that result. The application of the presented model is also illustrated using a numerical example. The numerical example shows, for instance, that the impact of a merger, as a business practice, on the competition level in an IFT market -and its submarkets- depends on the merger type (horizontal and vertical). Furthermore, different indicators that "represent" market structure and competition, might react differently to a merger in an IFT network.

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Journal Research in Transportation Business and Management
Saeedi, H, Wiegmans, B.W, Behdani, B, & Zuidwijk, R.A. (2017). Analyzing competition in intermodal freight transport networks: The market implication of business consolidation strategies. Research in Transportation Business and Management. doi:10.1016/j.rtbm.2017.02.009