Allocation of infrastructure cost in the maritime sector

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Gunnar Eriksson
Ulf Gullne
Johny Lindvall
Tapio Karvonen
Antti Saurama
Maud Göthe-Lundgren
Anna Mellin
Gunnar Lindberg

This deliverable consists in principle of two parts; one part with a review of the literature around maritime infrastructure cost with a focus on fairways (section 3), pilotage (section 4) and ports (section 5) and another part with an in-depth study on the Baltic icebreaking fleet (section 6). Our main conclusion from the first part is that all these parts of the infrastructure (fairways, pilotage and ports) show significant economies of scale. A long run marginal cost pricing strategy will never recover the cost and a short run pricing strategy (including user costs) will have problems with cost recovery if the capacity utilisation is low. The pricing strategies observed seem to use numerous forms of two part tariffs and "Ramsey" pricing solutions to solve the cost recovery issue of the sector. The consequence of all these (small) deviations from marginal cost pricing should probably be further analysed. The second part deals with icebreaking and notes that icebreaking in open water is not charged for by any EU Member State. Still the case study reported in this paper shows that the operation is characterised by considerable marginal costs. Finally, a relevant question to address is to what extent there are justifications for European or international legislation on maritime charging in the light of economic theory. Obviously, it is useful to address different parts of the maritime infrastructure separately.

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