Short Sea Shipping, intermodality and parameters influencing pricing policies: the Mediterranean case
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The Short Sea Shipping (SSS) market is strongly diversified, due to the variety of cargoes, vessel types and capacity, and segmented due to the existence of many national and peripheral submarkets. It is observed that prices differ considerably among transport services of similar distance routes and/or similar demand characteristics. The aim of this study is to identify factors influencing SSS operators pricing policies for both the sea and the inland part of intermodal chains, in an integrated framework. The analysis is based on the comparison of parameters influencing the cost structure and the pricing policy. The analysis of data collected through telephone and face-to-face interviews reveals that fuel, port cost, and market drivers with fuel cost being the most important elements influencing the variation in both the cost function and the pricing policy. Cost variations are also influenced by the cost of hinterland transport and the size of shipments, while pricing policy varies according to destination and type of goods transported. These findings contribute in understanding the SSS market and its operation. However, due to the complexity of self-organised systems, validating the presented cost and pricing structures remains a challenge.
KeywordsShort Sea Shipping Pricing of transport services Transportation costs Intermodality
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