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Latin American Ports: Results and Determinants of Private Sector Participation

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  • Jan Hoffmann

Abstract

The Latin American major ports are no longer inefficient state-run public monopolies. Common user ports tend to be concessioned under a landlord scheme, whereas specialised ports and terminals are more often privately owned or leased. New infrastructure is still being constructed, and regional and international private port companies participate in the port operations. The most renowned successes are Panama, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia, but not all countries have advanced equally. The demand for private sector participation depends on the desire of the public sector to promote foreign trade and the need to reduce its fiscal burden. The supply of private sector participation by port operating companies appears to depend on the port's hinterland and the perceived country risk. Perceived corruption, illiteracy, and a pending broader structural reform seem to have a negative impact on both demand and on supply. The same socio-economic situation that, up to now, has acted as an obstacle to port reform in the poorest Latin American countries should be considered as motivation to proceed with the necessary reforms in the future. Privatised port operations may help the urgently needed general structural reform of the economy, including better education and more stable public institutions – which in turn will reduce the remaining obstacles for port privatisation. The challenge for policy makers is to initiate this virtuous cycle.International Journal of Maritime Economics (2001) 3, 221–241. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.ijme.9100010

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Hoffmann, 2001. "Latin American Ports: Results and Determinants of Private Sector Participation," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 3(2), pages 221-241, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:3:y:2001:i:2:p:221-241
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wilmsmeier, Gordon & Hoffmann, Jan & Sanchez, Ricardo J., 2006. "The Impact of Port Characteristics on International Maritime Transport Costs," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 117-140, January.
    2. Lourdes Trujillo & Marianela Gonzalez, 2011. "Maritime Ports," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Network Industries, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bichou, Khalid, 2006. "Chapter 24 Review of Port Performance Approaches and a Supply Chain Framework to Port Performance Benchmarking," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 567-598, January.
    4. José Antonio Reyes, 2007. "El punto que le falta al CAFTA," Research Department Publications 4529, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., 2006. "Road and Maritime Transport Costs: A Comparative Analysis of Spanish Exports to Poland and Turkey," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 138, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Cullinane, Kevin & Ji, Ping & Wang, Teng-fei, 2005. "The relationship between privatization and DEA estimates of efficiency in the container port industry," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 433-462.
    7. Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso & Felicitas D. Nowak-Lehmann, 2007. "Is distance a good proxy for transport costs? The case of competing transport modes," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 411-434.
    8. Cheon, SangHyun, 2007. "World Port Institutions and Productivity: Roles of Ownership, Corporate Structure, and Inter-port Competition," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7t64h5wr, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. repec:got:cegedp:54 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. José Antonio Reyes, 2007. "The Missing Point in CAFTA," Research Department Publications 4528, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Gordon Wilmsmeier & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2009. "Determinants of maritime transport costs -- a panel data analysis for Latin American trade," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 105-121, October.
    12. Jordan Schwartz & José Luis Guasch & Gordon Wilmsmeier, 2009. "Logistics, Transport and Food Prices in LAC: Policy Guidance for Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9324, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Pallis, Athanasios A. & Syriopoulos, Theodore, 2007. "Port governance models: Financial evaluation of Greek port restructuring," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 232-246, May.
    14. Estache, Antonio & Gonzalez, Marianela & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2002. "Efficiency Gains from Port Reform and the Potential for Yardstick Competition: Lessons from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 545-560, April.
    15. Wilmsmeier, Gordon & Sanchez, Ricardo J., 2009. "The relevance of international transport costs on food prices: Endogenous and exogenous effects," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 56-66.
    16. Laura Márquez-Ramos & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Eva Pérez-García & Gordon Wilmsmeier, 2011. "“Special Issue on Latin-American Research” Maritime Networks, Services Structure and Maritime Trade," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 555-576, September.
    17. Jordan Schwartz & José Luis Guasch & Gordon Wilmsmeier, 2009. "Logistics, Transport and Food Prices in LAC: Policy Guidance for Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2541, Inter-American Development Bank.

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