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To redefine two port concepts, of infrastructure and superstructure

December 9, 2015

It is well known how important is to provide operators fair competition conditions, without barriers, with relatively easy access for entry/exit, to/from the market. For this purpose, it is necessary a certain mobility of economic agents to avoid monopolies which lock market, the protectionism and barriers using as instruments the real estate, technology and investments. Because the port authority (port administration) needs more effective tools, for example to allocate or to lease the surface of terminals, must redefine the main port concepts of infrastructure and superstructure. It should avoid the risk of substituting port authority to that of any operator or to a controlling shareholder thereof, on an area of the port territory. Must reduce the risk of transformation of a maritime or river terminal controlled by this means, into a dry port, without possibility that port authority to intervene, at least not in the short term. And other risks can be reduced, such as using the terminal far below the rated its capacity, the use of terminal surfaces as storage space (although port land is very expensive and should be used intensively, creating high turnover from traffic flow), etc. There are methods of treating the problem (progressive rents etc.), but the most effective in terms fait accompli in the short term, is to establish rent on leased areas depending on traffic capacity and not by the traffic realized in the previous time period. Extending the concept of infrastructure to all fixed assets, real estate, assets having long life, platforms, technological facilities which are structural integrated into terminals, simultaneously with restricting the superstructure to mobile assets, machinery used directly in production, movable objects having fast physical and moral depreciation, would give greater mobility of operators in the competition for terminals. Infrastructure should be a standalone system to represent resources related to the time factor (slots) which can be allocated to operators against access fees, using for this purpose allocation methods which do not restrict competition, market access, etc.

Cuncev I. (2015) Innovative management of port competitiveness, ASTR Days, Galatzi (excerpt).

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