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Cooperation and competition in the cargo liner shipping industry


  • Czerny, Achim I.
  • Mitusch, Kay


It is widespread international practice that cargo liners meet at regular conferences to fix prices and quotas for individual routes. Presently, however, the respective European regulation granting liners an exemption from competition laws is under review. Liners claim that conferences are a necessary pre-condition for the provision of reliable services. In contrast, we demonstrate that there is little evidence for a destabilizing effect of competition, while conferences can themselves give rise to instability. The liners association (ELAA) has, in response to the EU review process, proposed an information exchange system as an alternative. In our view this has some merits. Transfer of data might even be mandatory, information output should be aggregated and anonymized and made available to the general public. We are skeptical, however, about any 'discussions' between liners that go further than anonymized information exchange.

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  • Czerny, Achim I. & Mitusch, Kay, 2005. "Cooperation and competition in the cargo liner shipping industry," Discussion Papers 2005/3, Technische Universität Berlin, School of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tubsem:20053

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Telser, Lester G, 1996. "Competition and the Core," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 85-107, February.
    2. Sjostrom, William, 1989. "Collusion in Ocean Shipping: A Test of Monopoly and Empty Core Model s," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1160-1179, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Panayides, Photis M. & Wiedmer, Robert, 2011. "Strategic alliances in container liner shipping," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-38.

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